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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 140-147

Awareness of Saudi adolescent female toward potential risk of hereditary anemia: Is compulsory premarital screening program enough? A survey-based study

1 Department of Clinical Pathology/Hematology, Fayoum University, Egypt; Department of Basic Science, College of Medicine, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Mathematics, College of Science, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 College of Medicine, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Salwa Bakr
Department of Clinical Pathology/ Hematology, Faculty of Medicine, Fayoum University, P.O Box: 63514

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joah.joah_49_18

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BACKGROUND: Genetic red cell disorders are common in Arabic countries with a significant burden on healthcare systems. OBJECTIVES: We aimed was to assess the level of awareness of Saudi females toward potential risk of the most common inherited anemia in the region. METHODS: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was undertaken on 386 undergraduate students. RESULTS: The majority (60%) of participants have a poor knowledge score. The self-reported incidence of sickle cell anemia, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, and thalassemia among them was 7.3%, 4.9%, and 3.4%, respectively. Even though the majority (86.8%) expressed a positive attitude toward premarital screening tests, a wrong perception was noticed as 45.1% of them believe that irrespective of the test result, marriage decision will not be changed and 38.9% will refuse to marry a person who is a carrier of inherited anemia even if she is free of same disorder. Only 47.4% will refuse to marry a carrier if she was the carrier of some genetic disorders. CONCLUSION: Inadequate knowledge and wrong perception reflect the need to raise their awareness. Mass media should be greatly encouraged. Long-term regular targeted health education campaigns should be designed for adult Saudi, thereby reducing the burden and detrimental effect of these disorders in the community.

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