Hemolysates from 100,000 people who visited the Kyushu University Hospital and affiliated hospitals during the past 15 years were screened for hemoglobinopathies using electrophoresis on thin-layer starch gel; those exhibiting an abnormality were characterized further on clinical, biochemical, and genetic grounds. Of about 97,000 adult and 3,140 cord blood samples, 29 contained electropho-retically detectable abnormalities in the heterozygous condition. Another 17 samples had quantitative changes in the levels of the minor hemoglobin components. Of the thalassemic conditions, 12 involved βthalassemia, 3 αthalassemia, 1 δbeta;thalassemia, and l δthalassemia. Among 45 carriers of βthalassemia from 12 families, 5 were noted to have thalassemia intermedia since they exhibited much more severe hemolytic syndromes than those with typical βtha-lassemia minor. The frequency with which we could detect a structural variant of Hb A in the adults by electrophoresis was one in 3,800 samples. About one in 8,000 carried a βthalassemia gene.
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