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Newborn screening for sickle cell and other hemoglobinopathies: a Canadian pilot study.

Authors
  • Yorke, D
  • Mitchell, J
  • Clow, C
  • Nuguid, E
  • Cadogan, R
  • Sinclair, D
  • Luscombe, S
  • Rozen, R
  • Meredith, P
  • Esseltine, D
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical and investigative medicine. Médecine clinique et experimentale
Publication Date
Aug 01, 1992
Volume
15
Issue
4
Pages
376–383
Identifiers
PMID: 1516295
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We estimated incidence of HbS disease in Quebec. It is approximately 9 cases per 100,000 births (equivalent to the incidence of the hyperphenylalanemias). Accordingly, we performed a voluntary pilot study in 9 self-identified ethnic groups; 3528 families were counselled about the relevance of newborn screening for hemoglobinopathies; and 2779 cord blood samples were collected (participation rate, 78.7%) and analyzed for Hemoglobin S and other hemoglobin variants by cellulose acetate electrophoresis. There were 95 (3.42%) positive tests on the initial (cord blood) samples, of which only 40 could be confirmed because of low participation in follow-up. We identified 8 false-positive tests; 7 had been classified initially as alpha-thalassemia trait and one as HbC heterozygosity on the first test. The relative frequency of hemoglobinopathy genes (confirmed) was: 52.5% HbS; 22.5% alpha-thalassemia; 22.5% other mutation; all but one patient with sickle cell disease were heterozygotes; the majority (71%) of HbS genes were accounted for by the 7% of screened newborns who were Black; a further 24% of the HbS genes were accounted for by 7% with Central American ancestry. Record linkage of the findings in heterozygotes for use later in life is an unsolved problem. Seventy five first-degree relatives of the 48 probands were screened in follow-up studies (64% of parents participated); 5 couples at risk for having a future child with a hemoglobinopathy were identified. Attitudes toward follow-up varied among the ethnic groups. The single family with an affected newborn (sickle cell anemia) was counselled effectively; the infant received penicillin prophylaxis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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