A child with thalassemia may have an impaired quality of life.


Domains that may be affected by thalassemia:

(1) physical

(2) emotional

(3) social

(4) school functioning


Anemia may be associated with

(1) fatigue

(2) weakness

(3) decreased mental alterness


Factors affecting the child's quality of life:

(1) severe thalassemia (see below)

(2) chelation therapy

(3) a history of blood transfusion(s) during the previous 3 months


Severe thalassemia is indicated by:

(1) age at onset < 2 years of age AND age of first transfusion < 4 years

(2) homozygous beta-thalassemia

(3) hemoglobin prior to transfusion < 7 grams


A child with severe thalassemia is often transfusion dependent (> 8 blood transfusion per year). A history of transfusion in the past 3 months suggests a high annual blood transfusion rate.


Chelation therapy has a negative effect on school functioning but it is necessary to prevent complications later.


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