Izmir Katip Celebi University Medicine Faculty, Public Health Department -, Turkey


Introduction:Beta thalassemia (β thal) is a genetic blood disorder, which is endemic in especially Mediterranean countries. Hemoglobinopathy Control Programs are conducted in endemic areas, in order to reduce the number of risky newborns with tha- lassemia. The study’s aim was to present the results of a Meta-analysis of the prevalence of beta thalassemia trait (β thal trait) in Turkey and the Middle East Islamic countries since 2000.

Materials and methods: This study is a meta-analysis of prevalence. A meta-analysis was conducted on results of studies about the prevalence of β thal trait from Turkey's provinces and from the other Middle East Islamic countries. Meta-analysis of prevalence was studied with MetaXL. Random effects model was used to evaluate heterogeneity. Prevalence was presented with low and high Confidence Interval 95% (LCI and HCI), and weight (%). Pooled prevalence, I-squared and Cochran’s Q (homo- geneity test), and Chi-square p were presented.

Results: Pooled prevalence was 2.6%. In Turkey, provinces from the Mediterranean and Aegean region have high preva- lence of β thal trait, generally. Pakistan has a high prevalence of β thal trait, conversely, Iran national data reported a low preva- lence of β thal trait.

Conclusion: Meta-analysis including in Turkey and the Middle East Islamic countries show a prevalence of β thal trait between 0.2% to 7.9%. Iran’s national data presented the lowest prevalence of β thal trait. Geographical features were considered as the main cause of heterogeneity. Premarital screening programs should be conducted in endemic countries.


β thal trait, prevalence, meta-analysis