Clinical Complications of Hemoglobinopathies in Western Saudi Arabia and the Need for Specialized Care Centers
In the absence of specialized care centers for hemoglobinopathies in Saudi Arabia, there are insufficient data on prevalence of clinical complications in this population. This is a retrospective record review about the clinical complications associated with hemoglobinopathies at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, for patients followed between January 1st 2010 through June 30th 2016. A total of 349 patients were included, with a mean age of 25.45 years, including 266 with sickle cell disease and 80 with thalassemia. Of those receiving regular transfusions, 17.5% developed alloantibodies, 16.6% tested positive for hepatitis C virus antibodies and the mean ferritin level was 2487 ng/ml. Almost half of the patients were screened for renal disease, and more than 50% were found to have proteinuria. Of 203 patients with recent echocardiograms, 15.8% had pulmonary hypertension. Thirty-one (8.9%) patients died at a mean age of 28.5 years. In conclusion, the prevalence of disease related complications is high in hemoglobinopathies. Our results reiterate the need for specialized care hemoglobinopathy centers, which can further improve patient outcomes.
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