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Psychosocial and clinical burden of thalassaemia intermedia and its implications for prenatal diagnosis.
  1. S Ratip,
  2. D Skuse,
  3. J Porter,
  4. B Wonke,
  5. A Yardumian,
  6. B Modell
  1. Department of Haematology, University College London Medical School.


    Twenty eight patients with thalassaemia intermedia and their parents were interviewed using specifically designed questionnaires to evaluate psychosocial burden. Hospital notes were analysed for clinical burden. A wide variation was found for both patients and parents, ranging from virtually unaffected to severely affected. Normal sexual function and setting up a family were mentioned by patients and parents as being particularly important for quality of life. Over half (58%) of the patients had problems with sexual maturation and functioning, and continuous monitoring of all patients with thalassaemia intermedia by a paediatric endocrinologist is therefore strongly indicated. Most parents said, in light of their experiences, that they would opt for prenatal diagnosis and termination of affected pregnancies even if a genotype predicting the mild form of disorder were discovered.

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