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To the Editor: Dr. Diamond's comments are very pertinent and valid. Recently we have tested the folic acid plasma level of patients with thalassemia major and one with thalassemia intermedia. Nine of these patients show definite evidence of folic acid deficiency (<1mμg-2.9mμg/ml) while an additional four have folic acid plasma levels suggestive of a deficiency (3.0mμg-5.0mμg/ml). The only patient who had a normal value was a 2-year-old child with thalassemia major. We have only recently started folic acid therapy (20 mg/day orally) in five of the deficient patients. The follow-up period is too short for critical evaluation of the transfusion requirement, but none have shown any dramatic change in their hemoglobin levels. All of our patients are asking for folic acid therapy, and I am sure that most of them will be disappointed. We are in accord with Dr. Diamond's belief that this therapy is not the panacea of
ROBINSON M, WATSON J. ON COMMENTS BY DR. DIAMOND ET AL. Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(2):235. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050237024