The following is a summary of “Prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia in pregnant women with various thalassemia genotypes: Thoughts on iron supplementation in pregnant women with thalassemia genes,” published in the 17 November 2022 issue of Frontiers in Nutrition by Wang, et al.

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) among carriers of different thalassemia genotypes has received little research. However, neglecting the condition of having IDA and the thalassemia genes may negatively affect pregnant women (PW) with high iron requirements.

The plasma ferritin (PF) of 714 anemic pregnant women (APW) was also measured, along with the hematological phenotypic indices of 15,051 PW who were given a prenatal diagnosis of thalassemia in the hospital.

About 87.43% of APW without thalassemia had IDA, according to the findings. We discovered that among APW with different thalassemia genotypes, 40.00∼77.78% of subjects with α-thalassemia silent genotypes [αCS(orQS)α/αα (40.00%), –α3.7(or 4.2)(orQS)/αα (57.65%), and αWSα/αα (77.78%)] and 18.18∼84.21% of subjects with α-thalassemia minor genotypes [αCS(orQS)α/–α3.7(or 4.2)(orQS) (18.18%), –α3.7(or 4.2)(orQS)/–α3.7(or 4.2)(orQS) (40.00%), αα/_SEA (44.55%), and αWSα/–α3.7(or 4.2)(orQS) (84.21%)] developed IDA, while in subjects with α-thalassemia intermedia genotypes, only αWSα/_SEA was associated with IDA, with an incidence of 16.67%. The frequency of IDA in APW with common β-thalassemia minor genotypes (βCD17(A>T)/β, βCD41/42 (–TTCT)/β, βCD71/72(+A)/β, βIVS–II–654(C>T)/β, and β–28(A>G)/β) was, however, less than 10.85%. In comparison to APW without thalassemia, the APW with mild β-thalassemia showed a greater PF level.

The study was the first to show differences in the prevalence of IDA among PW with different thalassemia genotypes. The finding suggested that iron supplementation for PW with different thalassemia genotypes should be dynamically monitored and that the possibility of IDA should be fully considered when managing PW with different thalassemia genotypes in high-risk areas.