Frequency and clinical significance of erythrocyte genetic abnormalities in Omanis.
White JM., Christie BS., Nam D., Daar S., Higgs DR.
The frequencies of four malaria associated erythrocyte genetic abnormalities have been established in 1000 Omani subjects. They are: homozygous alpha+ thalassaemia (-alpha/-alpha) 0.45; high Hb A2 beta thalassaemia trait 0.015; sickle trait (Hb A/S) 0.061; and glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (Gd-): males 0.27, females 0.11. From our data the alpha+ (-alpha/) thal gene (confirmed by Southern blotting) is pandemic in this population. Moreover, in spite of the very high frequency of Gd-, oxidative haemolytic syndromes are very uncommon. Also preliminary data indicate that among the Omani population with sickle cell disease, homozygosity of the alpha+ gene markedly modifies the clinical picture.