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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-24

Endocrinopathies in Children and Adolescents with β-Thalassemia Major


1 Pediatric Department, King Abdul-Aziz University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Hematology Department, King Abdul-Aziz University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Abdulmoein Al-Agha
Assistant Professor and Consultant Pediatric, Endocrinologist, Department of Pediatrics, King Abdul-Aziz University Hospital, PO Box 80215, Jeddah 21589
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Objectives: β-Thalassemia major (β-TM), a prevalent medical condition, is associated with multiple endocrinopathies. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of endocrinopathies between 2006-2010 in children and adolescents with β-TM and were 2-18 years old. Patients and MethOds: This retrospective study involved children and adolescents with β-TM (n=143, 62 females, 57.81% were pubertal, and 81 males, 56.96% were pubertal) presenting at the pediatric endocrine clinic at King Abdul-Aziz University Hospital. The mean and standard deviation (SD) for age were 10.96 and 4.4. A comprehensive review of patient serum analysis, and medical records were done. Results: Vitamin D (Vit. D) deficiency was the commonest (56%) endocrinopathy in both children and adolescents with β-TM, followed by pubertal delay (29.37%) and hypothyroidism (21%); 7.6% of the patients had no endocrinopathies, and 45.5% had 3 or more endocrinopathies. Growth hormone deficiency was observed in 12.58% of the patients. The overall mean and SD serum ferritin levels were 3400.86 and 3067.43 ng/mL, respectively. Iron overload worsened as the children grew older; the mean and SD serum ferritin levels were 2893 and 1919 ng/mL, respectively, for pre-adolescents and 4299 and 4276 ng/mL, respectively, for adolescents (P=0.0368 [S]). cOnclusiOn: Children and adolescents with β-TM are at risk of multiple endocrinopathies. Vit. D deficiency, delayed puberty, short stature, and hypothyroidism are the prevalent complications of iron overload. We recommend the promotion of early screening programs for iron overload to prevent endocrinopathies among children and adolescents with β-TM and prophylactic Vit. D supplements.


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