Author(s): Dr. Iffat Jamal

Beta-thalassemia continues to be a major burden to the society particularly in developing countries like India.Among its various types,prevalence of ß-Thalassemia trait in India varies from <1% to 1 7% with an average of 3.3%.There is a diagnostic challenge in distinguishing it from Iron deficiency anaemia as both present with features of microcytic hypochromic anaemia. Aim: This study was carried out to assess the prevalence of ß-Thalassemia trait in and around Patna so that a rough estimate could be made regarding its occurrence in patients presenting with chronic resistant microcytic anaemia. Materials and methods: The study was carried out in 300 patients coming to PMCH with complains of fatigue, weakness, lethargy and dizziness.Out of 300 cases, 197 cases were proved to be of Iron deficiency anaemia by their low serum ferritin level and peripheral blood picture. Rest 103 cases with normal or increased serum ferritin level were screened by NESTROF TEST, with 31 giving positive results which were then subjected to Haemoglobin electrophoresis .HbA2 was found to be raised(>3.5%) in 5 patients confirming the diagnosis of Beta-thalassemia trait in them. Results: Prevalence of ß -thalassemia trait in the study sample was-5/300 =0.016 i.e. 1.6%. Conclusion: This study gave a rough estimate of prevalence of ß-thalassemia trait in our region.Recognition of ß-Thalassemia Trait is important in differentiating it from microcytic hypochromic anaemia of Iron deficiency origin. Key words: ß-thalassemia trait,electrophoresis,microcytic,hypochromic.