Red blood cell disorders in recently arrived African immigrants to Gran Canaria, Spain.
BACKGROUND: In the last decade immigration to Europe has increased, with Africa being the source of a large number of immigrants. In addition to infections, this group has other less known health problems, such as erythrocyte abnormalities. METHODS: The objectives of this study were: the systematic evaluation of red cell abnormalities in 200 newly arrived asymptomatic African immigrants on the Canaries; the systematic evaluation of haemoglobinopathies and their characterization in this population; and the relationship of red blood cell disorders and parasitic infections. RESULTS: Of the studied immigrants 53 (26.5%) had red cell disorders according to their CBC parameters (Hb and/or MCV). In 48 people (24.0%) one or more etiologic diagnoses were made. Specifically, in order of frequency, a total of 26 structural haemoglobinopathies, 14 α-thalassemias, 2 β-thalassemias and 14 iron deficiencies were diagnosed. There was a statistically significant association between the presence of anemia, microcytosis, structural haemoglobinopathies or α thalassemia and sub-Saharan origin. However, no statistically significant association between the abovementioned parameters and eosinophilia or helminthic infection was observed. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that, even in the presence of normal Hb and MCV values, including haemoglobinopathies in the initial screening of newly arrived sub-Saharan immigrants would be very useful.
de-la-Iglesia-Iñigo, S; Carranza-Rodriguez, C; Ropero-Gradilla, P; González-Fernandez, F-A; Molero-Labarta, T; Hemmersbach-Miller, M; Pérez-Arellano, J-L
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