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September 1983

Thalassemia Among Chinese-Bostonians: Usefulness of the Hemoglobin H Preparation

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Dr Choi) and Pediatrics (Dr Necheles), New England Medical Center Hospital, Tufts University School of Medicine, and the South Cove Community Health Center (Dr Choi), Boston. Dr Necheles is now with Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Brighton, Mass.

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(9):1713-1715. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350090091015

• Microcytosis was noted in 14.7% of the complete blood cell count reports of Chinese subjects in a Boston Chinatown health center. One hundred forty-nine of these subjects' conditions were further evaluated by hemoglobin electrophoresis, Hb H inclusion bodies preparation, Hb A2 quantitation, and ferritin assay. Ninety-one cases of α-thalassemia-1 trait and 49 cases of β-thalassemia trait were diagnosed. In this study population, the prevalence of thalassemia trait and of iron deficiency resulting in microcytosis was 13.8% and 3.4%, respectively. The Hb H preparation was found to be clinically useful and reliable for detecting α-thalassemia-1 trait in Chinese carriers, after the exclusion of iron deficiency and β-thalassemia by routine studies.

(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:1713-1715)

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