Health-related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents With β-Thalassemia Major on Different Iron Chelators in Basra, Iraq

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Abstract

Few studies have investigated the quality of life of children with thalassemia in the Middle East or Mediterranean region, especially Iraq. Therefore, this study was performed to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients with β-thalassemia major compared with healthy children and adolescents in the same age group and to evaluate the effects of different iron chelators on HRQoL measurements. A case-control study was performed on patients with β-thalassemia major registered at the Center for Hereditary Blood Diseases in Basra from February 2012 through July 2013. The group included children and adolescents aged 2 to 17 years old. HRQoL was assessed using the Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) Generic Core Scale questionnaire, version 4.0, for children 2 to 12 years old and the Short Form-36 health survey questionnaire, version 2 (SF-36v2), for children and adolescents aged 13 to 17 years old. A total of 209 age-matched and sex-matched children and adolescents were included in the control group. The study did not find a significant difference in PedsQL scores among different age groups or different iron chelators, whereas there were significant differences in all of the SF-36v2 domains, with the best quality of life observed in the deferasirox group, followed by the deferoxamine group and the combined therapy group (P<0.05). The use of deferasirox among patients aged 13 to 17 years old was associated with higher SF-36v2 scores than in the other groups (P<0.05). However, for younger patients, the PedsQL scores were not significantly different for different iron chelators. The use of oral deferasirox significantly improved the quality of life of adolescents with β-thalassemia major. However, this effect was less prominent among patients aged 2 to 12 years old.

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