Prevalence of osteoporosis & osteopenia in transfusion-dependent thalassemia in Sulaimaniyah city, Iraq


  • Hunar Gharib Mahmood MBChB, Trainee of KHCMS Clinical Hematology, Center of Thalassemia and Congenital Blood Disorder, Directorate of Health, Sulaimaniyah, Iraq. Corresponding author’s
  • Ahmad Khudair Yassin MBChB, DM, CABM, FIBMS, FRCP, Professor of Hemato-oncology, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University and Nanakali Hospital for Hematology and Cancer, Erbil, Iraq.
  • Zeki Ali Mohamed MBChB, FIBMS, MRCP & FRCP (London). Assistant Professor of Hemato-oncology, Consultant Clinical Hematologist, Azadi Hematology/Oncology Center and Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Hematology, College of Medicine, University of Duhok, Duhok, Iraq.



Osteoporosis, Retrospective study, Transfusion dependent thalassemia


Background and objectives: Although blood transfusion and iron chelation increase the lifespan of thalassemic patients, these patients face many complications, including osteoporosis and osteopenia. Thus, we aimed to determine prevalence rates of osteoporosis/osteopenia using Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry in transfusion-dependent thalassemia patients and its relationship with chelation agents and body mass index.

Methods: This retrospective study included 150 patients with transfusion-dependent thalassemia in the Thalassemia and Congenital Blood Disorders Center, Sulaimaniyah, Iraq, from December 2021 to July 2022. The participant’s information was collected from the hospital database, including sociodemographic characteristics, bone mineral density status, and the number of items used for chelation. A Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry bone scan was used to check the bone mineral density.

Results: The mean age of patients was 19.59±7.59, body mass index was 21.23±18.13, and most (53.3%) were females. Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry results showed that 53.3% of the patients had osteopenia, 21.3% had osteoporosis, 36.7% had average bone mineral density, and 6.7% had low bone mineral density for age. In addition, there was a significant difference between the frequencies of bone density disorders in patients who used one chelating agent (46.4%) versus two chelating agents (85%) (P?0.001). Also, there was a significant difference between the incidence of bone density disorders with low and average body mass index (78%) in comparison with overweight and obese patients (8%) (P?0.001).

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia in transfusion-dependent thalassemia patients, which are more prone to trauma and bone fracture.


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How to Cite

Mahmood, H. G. ., Yassin, A. K., & Mohamed, Z. A. (2024). Prevalence of osteoporosis & osteopenia in transfusion-dependent thalassemia in Sulaimaniyah city, Iraq. AMJ (Advanced Medical Journal) , 9(2), 95-102.