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Distribution of Sickle Cell Gene in Korku Tribe of Central India

Author:Arun U Deore, Subhash B Zade

Keywords:Sickle cell disease, Korku, central India, homozygous, heterozygous

Type:Original Article

Abstract:Background: The intention of the study was not only to reveal current prevalence rate of sickle cell disease (SCD) but also to adduce most probable reason for its high prevalence in Korku population of Central India and its implications on their health. Methods: During the study, a total of 865 subjects belonging to different age groups (0-60 years) were randomly sampled for estimating the incidence of sickle cell genotype in them. Blood samples were collected from all (n=865) individuals and positive samples were subjected to cellulose acetate Hb electrophoresis at pH 8.6 for confirmation of their patterns. Prepared questionnaire and previous medical reports were used as a tool to diagnose the clinical presentations of SCD. Result: Prevalence of sickle cell trait among Korku people was found to be 5.3% (46/865), of which 4.4% with heterozygous gene AS (Carrier) whereas 0.9% with homozygous recessive gene SS (Disease). The frequency of SCD gene was reported more in males and in lower age groups especially in people belonging to the age group of 0-25 years. In homozygous individuals 87.8% of them had no history of pain crisis or blood transfusion. In heterozygous patients most frequently observed clinical features were body pain, joint pain, fever, abdominal pain, pallor and limited complaints about chest pain and intermittent jaundice. No complaint of gall stone was reported. The data also reflects high rate of mortality especially in children. Conclusion: The high degree of consanguinity and lack of knowledge about sickle cell disorder are major reasons for high SCD gene frequency amongst Korku tribesmen. Premarital screening and genetic counseling needs to be considered as tools to reduce its rate of prevalence.