COVID-19 and Thalassaemia in Iran

  • Mahmoud Hadipour Dehshal Charity foundation for special diseases, Tehran, Iran, Iran.
  • Sachiko Hosoya School of Nursing at Narita, Public Health Nursing, International University of Health and Welfare, Chiba, Japan.
  • Fatemeh Hashemi Bahremani Charity foundation for special diseases, Tehran, Iran, Iran.
  • Mehdi Tabrizi Namini Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization, Tehran, Iran.
  • Androulla Eleftheriou | thalassaemia@cytanet.com.cy Thalassaemia International Federation, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had and continues to have a significant medical, public health, social and economic impact on every society around the world. Some groups of chronic patients including thalassaemia and other haemoglobin disorders were considered from the beginning of the pandemic, as vulnerable and high risk ones with regards to a more severe clinical outcome of the infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). This is because patients with thalassaemia can present with many and multiple co-morbidities including diabetes, heart, liver, endocrine and other conditions mainly secondary to iron overload and consequent to ineffective or suboptimal medical care and/or adherence to chelation treatment in particular. Transfusion dependent patients with β-thalassaemia have been greatly affected across the world, including in Iran, a country geographically situated in the so called thalassaemia belt. Iran with about 20,000 patients with β-thalassaemia and quite successful disease specific prevention and management national programmes faced challenges similar to others. Blood shortages for example consequent to COVID-19 precaution measures taken in every country to contain the virus and the difficulties in accessing drugs including lifesaving ones (iron chelation medication) constitute major challenges. In Iran however, and despite the multiple difficulties as described above, SARS-CoV-2 had a rather small impact regarding infection rates as compared to the rest of the countries, albeit a higher mortality rate reaching 26.5% amongst COVID-19 diagnosed patients. More comprehensive data however from a bigger number of patients with thalassaemia across the world infected with SARS-CoV- 2 is necessary to draw any reliable conclusions as to the level of vulnerability to SARS-CoV-2 and importantly the clinical impact of this virus in these patients.

 

2019年冠状病毒病(COVID-19)已经并将继续对全世界每个社会产生重大的医疗、公共卫生、社会和经济影响。包括地中海贫血和其他血红蛋白疾病在内的一些慢性病患者群体,从疫情发生之初就被认为是易感人群和高危人群,与严重急性呼吸道综合征-冠状病毒-2(SARS-CoV-2)感染的更严重的临床结果有关。这是因为地中海贫血患者可能会出现多种并发症,包括糖尿病、心脏、肝脏、内分泌和其他疾病,主要是继发于铁超载,尤其是无效或不理想的医疗护理和/或坚持螯合治疗的结果。输血依赖的β地中海贫血患者在全世界范围内都受到了极大的影响,包括伊朗这个位于所谓地中海贫血带的国家。伊朗约有20,000名β地中海贫血症患者,并拥有相当成功的疾病预防和管理国家计划,但也面临着与其他国家类似的挑战。例如,各国为控制病毒而采取的COVID-19预防措施造成的血液短缺,以及获得包括救命药物(铁螯合药物)在内的药物的困难,都是主要的挑战。然而,在伊朗,尽管存在上述多种困难,但与其他国家相比,SARS-CoV-2对感染率的影响相当小,尽管在被诊断为COVID-19的患者中死亡率较高,达到26.5%。然而,需要从全世界感染SARS-CoV-2的更多地中海贫血症患者中获得更全面的数据,才能对SARS-CoV-2的易感性水平得出可靠的结论,更重要的是,这种病毒对这些患者的临床影响。

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Published
2020-06-10
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Issue
Section
Review Articles
Keywords:
Thalassaemia, sickle cell disease, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, pandemic.
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  • PDF: 174
  • Appendix: 30
How to Cite
Dehshal, M. H., Hosoya, S., Bahremani, F. H., Namini, M. T., & Eleftheriou, A. (2020). COVID-19 and Thalassaemia in Iran. Thalassemia Reports, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/thal.2020.9157