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05.07.2018 | Original Article

Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in beta thalassemia major adolescents in southern Iran: a cross-sectional study

International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries
Forough Saki, Rezieh Bahadori, Navid Moradi Kashkooli, Amin Jazayeri, Negin Ghahremani, Gholam Hossein Ranjbar Omrani


Even though beta thalassemia major (β-TM) patients’ survival has improved, there are growing concerns about long-term complications and its related therapeutic side effects. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the β-TM patients in southern Iran. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 100 beta thalassemia major patients, aged 12–40 years and their age- and gender-matched controls. Weight, height, blood pressure, and waist circumference of the patients were evaluated by a single trained physician. Serum triglyceride, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and fasting plasma glucose were assessed. World Health Organization (WHO) body mass index (BMI) curves and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) metabolic syndrome criteria were used as a reference. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 18.0 was used for analysis. Prevalence of underweight, overweight, and obesity in our patients was 28, 5, and 1%, respectively. In patients with thalassemia (β-TM), prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 22% and was associated with BMI (p = 0.001). It was more prevalent in females (26.3% in females vs. 8.3% in males) (p = 0.045). Serum ferritin was associated with abdominal obesity (p = 0.028) and hypertriglyceridemia (p = 0.017). This study revealed that 22% of β-TM patients had IDF criteria of metabolic syndrome and low HDL was the most frequent positive criterion. Future studies should be conducted to find out the relevant factors to reduce the cardiovascular morbidities associated with metabolic syndrome in β-TM patients.

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