Endocrine Complications in Cyprian Thalassemic Patients

  • N. Skordis


Endocrine disturbances are commonly found in thalassaemic patients who are regularly transfused and receive chelation therapy [1]. Iron overload from blood transfusions results in deposits in many organs including the endocrine glands, causing endocrine dysfunction. The incidence of endocrinopathies in thalassemics has been reported to be high by several investigators [2, 3]. The gland most sensitive to iron deposition is thought to be the pituitary, so that thalassemics often have delayed puberty and hypogonadism. In Cyprus, an island with a population of 744,000, the number of thalassemia patients is remarkable due to the relatively high incidence of the thalassemia gene. Most of our patients, however, are adolescents and adults as there has been a significant decrease in new thalassemics due to our prevention program. Among 585 thalassemics we have 12 patients who developed insulin–dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) after the age of 15 years. The frequency of hypoparathyroidism and hypothyroidism is also very low, so that in this report we will address the issues of growth failure and hypogonadism, which are more commonly observed.


Growth Hormone Growth Hormone Secretion Growth Hormone Response Prepubertal Patient Thalassaemic Patient 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

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  • N. Skordis

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