Prevention, early treatment needed to fight thalassemia: health authorities

Updated: May 9, 2019 Xinhua Print

GUANGZHOU -- Premarital and pre-pregnancy prevention, antenatal prevention as well as early diagnosis and treatment are needed in fighting thalassemia, as the disease is preventable despite its difficulty to treat, health authorities said Wednesday.

Thalassemia are inherited blood disorders characterized by abnormal hemoglobin production. Symptoms can vary from none to severe; often there is mild to severe anemia or low red blood cells.

Since 2015, China has been implementing a prevention and control program in ten high-incidence provincial-level regions, providing free gene examination and antenatal diagnosis.

Thalassemia has been effectively controlled in regions including south China's Guangdong Province, and birth rates of infants with heavy thalassemia have gradually decreased, sources with the National Health Commission said at a themed publicity event in Guangdong Wednesday, which marked the 26th World Thalassemia Day.

Provincial-level regions south of the Yangtze River including Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan are high incidence areas for the disease. The gene carriage rate in Guangdong is 16.83 percent.

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