Beta-thalassemia major and associated complications
Beta-thalassemia major (TM) remains to be one of the major health problems particularly in developing countries.
Tunisia is a part of the Mediterranean countries mostly affected by this disease which is highly concentrated in small towns in families with low-income earners.
The main objectives of this study are to provide a description of the demographic, clinical features and transfusion-related complications in patients with TM living in Tunisia.
A standardized questionnaire was sent to clinicians throughout 33 different medical institutions caring for thalassemic patients.
391 transfusion dependant thalassemic patients with a median age of 10.7 years (range 3 months- 31 years) were included in the study.
The majority originated from the north west of the country.
A moderate iron overload between 1501 and 2500 ng/ml was found in 61patients, while 81 patients (26.9%) had a ferritin level more than 2500 ng/ml and greater than 5000ng/ml in 21 patients (6.9%).
51 patients died from complications related to their disease.
Heart failure was the main cause of death.
The incidence of cardiac, endocrine, and infectious complications will be reviewed.