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Hockham, C; Ekwattanakit, S; Bhatt, S; Penman, BS; Gupta, S; Viprakasit, V; Piel, FB (2019) Estimating the burden of alpha-thalassaemia in Thailand using a comprehensive prevalence database for Southeast Asia. ELife 10.7554/eLife.40580

Hockham, C; Ekwattanakit, S; Bhatt, S; Penman, BS; Gupta, S; Viprakasit, V; Piel, FB (2019) Estimating the burden of alpha-thalassaemia in Thailand using a comprehensive prevalence database for Southeast Asia. ELife 10.7554/eLife.40580

Severe forms of alpha-thalassaemia, haemoglobin H disease and haemoglobin Bart's hydrops fetalis, are an important public health concern in Southeast Asia. Yet information on the prevalence, genetic diversity and health burden of alpha-thalassaemia in the region remains limited. We compiled a geodatabase of alpha-thalassaemia prevalence and genetic diversity surveys and, using geostatistical modelling methods, generated the first continuous maps of alpha-thalassaemia mutations in Thailand and sub-national estimates of the number of newborns with severe forms in 2020. We also summarised the current evidence-base for alpha-thalassaemia prevalence and diversity for the region. We estimate that 3595 (95% credible interval 1,717-6,199) newborns will be born with severe alpha-thalassaemia in Thailand in 2020, which is considerably higher than previous estimates. Accurate, fine-scale epidemiological data are necessary to guide sustainable national and regional health policies for alpha-thalassaemia management. Our maps and newborn estimates are an important first step towards this aim.

Thu 06 Jun 2019, 08:29