Management of the aging beta-thalassemia transfusion-dependent population – The Italian experience

Valeria Maria Pinto, Maurizio Poggi, Rodolfo Russo, Andrea Giusti, Gian Luca Forni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Thalassemia is among the most common monogenic diseases worldwide. Stem cell transplantation can be curative but is reserved for young patients, as probably gene therapy will be in the future. Adult thalassemia patients are treated with transfusion therapy and iron chelation, and improvements in the safety of transfusion protocols, use of iron chelation, monitoring of iron overload, and management of comorbidities have substantially prolonged survival, increasing the proportion of adult patients in the thalassemic population. However, older patients are more likely to develop multiple disease-related morbidities, including osteoporosis, endocrine disorders, liver disease, renal dysfunction, and cancer. Thus, the main objective of this article is to describe new challenges posed by the increasing life expectancy of patients with thalassemia, focusing on data from Italy where there is a well-documented history of thalassemia management. It is hoped that the mortality and morbidity benefits already seen in patients with thalassemia will continue to improve with ongoing advances in the quality of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100594
JournalBlood Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Anemia
  • Hemoglobinopathy
  • Iron chelation
  • Iron overload
  • Thalassemia
  • Transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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