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Prevalence of hemoglobin abnormalities in Kebili (Tunisian South)

Prevalence of hemoglobin abnormalities in Kebili (Tunisian South)

Revue d'Epidemiologie et de Sante Publique 47(1): 29-36

ISSN/ISBN: 0398-7620

PMID: 10214674

Hemoglobin abnormalities constitute a public health problem in many countries in the world. In Tunisia, these disorders were thought to affect only the North-western population. However, the existence of hemoglobinosis concentration in Kebily in south Tunisia has been suggested by previous work. In order to estimate their frequencies, we performed a screening of hemoglobin abnormalities in the North-Kebili region, to establish a prevention program of the homozygous forms. This screening concerned all 1st and 2nd grade primary school pupils in North Kebily. After a questionnaire, a blood sample was drawn from every child. Hemogram, sickling test, and hemoglobin electrophoresis at alkaline pH were performed for all children. Hemoglobin electrophoresis at acid pH and a specific hemoglobin A2 titration were performed for some children. The study concerned 1,400 children, aged between 5 and 12 years, the mean age was 7 years and 7 months +/- 10 months. Consanguinity rate and coefficient were respectively 44% and 2249 x 10(5). Endogamy was very high. The global rate of hemoglobin abnormalities was 9.4%. Drepanocytosis with a rate of 4.9% was the most frequent, followed by beta thalassemia (3.1%) and C hemoglobinosis (1.6%). These abnormalities were unequally distributed; very frequent in some localities, they were quite absent in others. This study revealed a hemoglobinosis concentration in Tunisia, which can be classified second after that of Beja in North-western Tunisia. The heterogeneous distribution of the hemoglobin abnormalities in North-Kebili region and the high consanguinity and endogamy rates constitute factors that promote homozygous and double heterozygous forms to arise and justify the elaboration of a preventive strategy.

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Accession: 047062036

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