The Prevalence and Role of Hemoglobin Variants in Biometric Screening of a Multiethnic Population: One Large Health System's Experience

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Abstract

Objectives: To characterize and quantitate hemoglobin (Hb) variants discovered during biometric hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) analyses in a large multiethnic population with a focus on the effect of variants on testing method and results.

Methods: In total, 13,913 individuals had their HbA1c measured via ion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography. Samples that had a variant Hb detected or HbF fraction more than 25% underwent variant Hb characterization and confirmation by gel electrophoresis. RBC indices were also evaluated for possible concomitant thalassemia.

Results: Of the 13,913 individuals evaluated, 524 (3.77%) had an Hb variant. The prevalence of each variant was as follows: HbS trait (n = 396, 2.85%), HbSS disease (n = 4, 0.03%), HbC trait (n = 85, 0.61%), HbCC disease (n = 2, 0.01%), HbSC disease (n = 5, 0.04%), HbE trait (n = 18, 0.13%), HbD or G trait (n = 9, 0.06%), HbS β-thalassemia + disease (n = 1, 0.01%), hereditary persistence of HbF (n = 2, 0.01%), and HbMontgomery trait (n = 1, 0.01%). Concomitant α-thalassemia was detected in 20 (3.82%) of the 524 individuals with an Hb variant.

Conclusions: This study represents one of the largest epidemiologic investigations into the prevalence of Hb variants in a North American metropolitan, multiethnic workforce and their dependents and reinforces the importance of method selection in populations with Hb variants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-595
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Volume147
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Biometric screening
  • HbA1c
  • Hemoglobin variants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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