Survival and disease complications in thalassemia major

Caterina Borgna-Pignatti, Simone Rugolotto, Piero De Stefano, Antonio Piga, Felicia Di Gregorio, Maria Rita Gamberini, Vincenzo Sabato, Caterina Melevendi, Maria Domenica Cappellini, Giuseppe Verlato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied survival and disease complications in 1146 patients with thalassemia major, born from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1987. At last follow-up, in March 1997, probability of survival to age 20 years was 89% and to age 25 years was 82% for patients born in the years 1970-1974. Patients who died had a serum ferritin level, measured the year before death, significantly higher than those who survived. Diabetes was present in 5.4% of the patients; heart failure in 6.4%, arrhythmias in 5.0%, thrombosis in 1.1%, hypothyroidism in 11.6%, HIV infection in 1.8%. Hypogonadism was diagnosed in 55% of 578 patients who had reached pubertal age: 83.5% of hypogonadic females and 78.6% of males were receiving substitutive hormonal therapy. In conclusion, the survival of patients with thalassemia major is good and improving, but the prevalence of severe complications is still high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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