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A Comparison of Intelligence Quotient in Children with and without β-Thalassemia Major

Samaneh Homayouni Meymandi, Sayed Hamid Seyednezhad-Golkhatmi, Mandana Homayouni Meymandi

Background: Thalassemia is the most common hemoglobinopathy worldwide. Children with β-thalassemia major have several risk factors for cognitive problems. The aim of this study is to evaluate intelligence quotient in children with β-thalassemia major and healthy counterparts using Wechsler Intelligence Scale. Materials and Methods: Within a case-control design and using convenience sampling method, the present study was carried out in Zahedan and Shiraz in 2012. Participants were matched based on their age, gender and city of residence (40 children with β-thalassemia major and 40 healthy children aging 6 to 12 years. Wechsler Intelligence Scale Revised (WISC-R) was used to find the participants’ Verbal Performance and Full intelligence scores. The scores of the two groups were then compared using descriptive analysis and independent t-test. Results: As compared with their healthy counterparts, children with β-thalassemia major had lower scores on both Verbal Scale and Full Scale (P<0.01); however, the difference between the two groups’ scores on Performance Scale fell short of significance. Conclusions: Intelligence decline does not necessarily occur in children with β-thalassemia. They are just slightly lower than their healthy counterarts and they need to receive more attention in education in order to improve. [GMJ.2015;4(4):130-31]

Thalassemia; β-Thalassemia; Intelligence Quotient; Cognitive Function; Children

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