Early detection of β-thalassemia (β-thal) trait is important. Voluntary blood donors represent an important group who are accessible and cooperative for this purpose. However, the usefulness of this population in β-thal trait detection programs has not been studied in India. We conducted a hematological survey of 5,045 blood donors who visited the Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Centre, Bhopal in central India. Using robust Bayesian methods, we estimated the prevalence of β-thal trait. The overall prevalence of β-thal trait in the study population was 9.59% [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 8.78-10.4%]. The prevalence of β-thal trait varied across the states of origin and within the state of Madhya Pradesh. We observed a cline effect for β-thal trait prevalence in relation to the latitude (p = 0.024). We conclude that blood donors offer an attractive adjunct to β-thal trait detection in national programs. Our study also offers insights into the β-thal trait gene flow and migration in India.
Hemoglobin, 2010; 34(6):548-60.
By: Chatterjee N, Mishra A, Soni R, Kulkarni H, Mamtani M, Shrivasatava M