Prevalence of erythrocyte glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency in the population of western Turkey
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Background. Newborn G6PD deficiency screening has been recognized as an essential component of public health care in most developed and some Mediterranean countries. However, such screening is yet to be widely embraced in Turkey. The aim of the present study was to determine the normal values of G6PD and deficiency prevalence of this enzyme in different age groups of people living in the western region of Turkey and accordingly inform and educate about favism to those asymptomatic carriers who usually are not aware of their G6PD deficient status. Methods. A total of 1421 clinically healthy individuals without evidence of leukocytosis or thrombocytosis were included in the study. Activity of G6PD was quantitatively measured. Results. Normal mean values of G6PD in healthy males were 8.94 +/- 8.65 IU/g Hb (or 231.73 +/- 43.16 IU/10(12) RBC), in females were 9.16 +/- 3.78 IU/g Hb (or 219.9 +/- 43.1 IU/10(12) RBC). The frequencies of severe and mild G6PD deficiencies were 0.44% and 6.07% in females, respectively, whereas in males it was 7.24%. Overall frequency of the G6PD-deficient phenotype was detected as 6.9%. Conclusions. There is no significant statistical difference of G6PD activity between males and females, although frequency of the G6PD-deficient phenotype is relatively high in western Turkey. The results emphasize a need for screening for G6PD deficiency before prescribing anti-malarial therapy with drugs like primaquine to patients in this region of Turkey known for its prevalence of malaria.