Prevalence of β-thalassemia and other haemoglobinopathies in six cities in India: a multicentre study

The population of India is extremely diverse comprising of more than 3,000 ethnic groups who still follow endogamy. Haemoglobinopathies are the commonest hereditary disorders in India and pose a major health problem. The data on the prevalence of β-thalassemias and other haemoglobinopathies in different caste/ethnic groups of India is scarce. Therefore the present multicentre study was undertaken in six cities of six states of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka and Punjab) to determine the prevalence of haemoglobinopathies in different caste/ethnic groups using uniform methodology. Fifty-six thousand seven hundred eighty individuals (college students and pregnant women) from different caste/ethnic groups were screened. RBC indices were measured on an automated haematology counter while the percentage of HbA2, HbF and other abnormal Hb variants were estimated by HPLC on the Variant Hemoglobin Testing System.

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