Background: Thalassemia is one of the most globally common chronic hematological disorder. This inherited disorder is characterized by an abnormal production of hemoglobin protein resulting in a life-threatening disease of two main types α and β.In Kirkuk city it was found that, β-thalassemia was the most common disorder and various factors were found to be contributing to the counts of β-thalassemia including ethnic origins and migration that added more burden on the genetic pool of the region and on the inheritance of traits in that area.
Objective: Evaluating the prevalence of thalassemia in Kirkuk city according to a number of parameters that included age, gender and ethnic background of patients along with the assessment of the effect of consanguinity marriage on the incidence of the disease.
Total of (156) clinically diagnosed β-thalassemia patients attending “Thalassemia Unit “ in Azadi Teaching Hospital in Kirkuk City were questionaired and data were divided into four cohorts for evaluation; followed by statistical analysis.
No significant difference was detected in β-thalassemia distribution among males and females in Kirkuk city 2016; β-thalassemia was more prevalent in children born following the years of insecurity in the country generally and Kirkuk city especially. In addition, about (77.56%) of β-thalassemia patients were the outcomes of consanguinity marriage from the first degree cousin whom affected with β-thalassemia minor without their knowledge. Additionally, the distribution of β –thalassemia patients between different ethnic groups living in Kirkuk and the surrounding areas indicated a significant difference (p < 0.05) in the incidence of β –thalassemia in Turkman patients who had recorded the lowest incidence rate of (17.31%) compared to the Kurd patients where they recorded the incidence rate of (37.18%) and Arabs where they recorded the highest incidence rate of (45.52%) among total of (156) β –thalassemia patients where most of them came from rural areas or were internally displaced people.
β- thalassemia disorder is one of the prevalent inherited diseases in Kirkuk city with increasing frequency among children in the ages of (1-3) years old. Besides, the distribution of β- thalassemia disorder did not vary among males and females in Kirkuk city in the year 2016 and it was concluded that, the frequency of β- thalassemia showed an increase in the years following wars and invasions in Kirkuk city. Moreover, consanguinity marriage increases the frequency of β- thalassemia incidence among both male and female patients. Additionally, individuals with minor β- thalassemia increase the ratio of β- thalassemia incidence among their children and the distribution of β- thalassemia differ according to different ethnic groups.