A study on premarital screening for sickle cell trait in hilly areas around salem

Authors:P.Ravisekar, P.Josephine Latha, N.Vijayabanu
Int J Biol Med Res. 2021; 12(1): 7244-7247  |  PDF File

Abstract

Background: Sickle cell disease is a genetic disease which is more prevalent in many developing countries. A genetic blood disease due to the presence of an abnormal form of hemoglobin, namely hemoglobin S. In southern India sickle cell anemia varies around 1to 40% among tribal population. Early detection and genetic counselling to the high risk group is the need of the hour to control this disease burden. Aims and Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of sickle cell trait in premarital population in hilly areas around Salem and to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of the screening test Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out and the study is based on the evaluation of data available from the screening programme for prevention of hemoglobinopathies. All the 10th and 12th std students in hilly areas (yercaud , kolli hills, kalrayan hills ) were included and known case of thalassemia and other hemoglobinopathies were excluded .Data was analyzed by using SPSS software. Result: This study shows that the prevalence of sickle cell trait in hilly areas around salem was 4.4%. Among the three hilly areas around salem, Kolli hills shows the highest prevalence of about 2.2%. Second highest prevalence of about 1.9% was found in Yercaud hills and Kalvarayan hills showed a prevalence of 0.3%. Sickling test shows 100% sensitivity and 100% negative predictive value. Specificity was only 25%. Conclusion: This study emphasizes the importance of premarital genetic counseling and effective screening for sickle cell anemia in hilly areas. However, more number of screening need to be done to increase public awareness. The present study shows the need for formal pre-marital counseling and screening for sickle hemoglobin among the youth to help them take informed decision about their marriage to prevent procreation of children affected by sickle cell disease.