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Quality of life in patients suffering from thalassaemia in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
Although medical advances in the treatment of thalassaemia major have led to increased survival, some patients still suffer from disease complications. These complications, along with chronic treatment via transfusions and chelation, can adversely impact patients’ quality of life (QoL). A cross-sectional study was carried out in children and adolescents suffering from thalassaemia who received treatment at Saqr and Saif Bin Ghabash Hospitals from January to March 2012. QoL was assessed using the QoL Short Form questionnaire-36 items (SF-36) in 25 patients; 25 participants who did not have thalassaemia formed a control group. There was a significant reduction in the QoL of patients with thalassaemia when compared with the control group. Patients in the age group 17–24 years had better QoL than other age groups, and women had a higher QoL score than men. Patients with a higher level of education had better QoL than those with a lower level of education and patients who had undergone fewer blood transfusions (<12 per year) had better QoL than those who had undergone more blood transfusions. Patients who regularly received iron chelation (≥30 per month) showed better QoL than all other groups.