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Blood Disorders Ratio in India

Several types of blood disorders are prevalent among the Indian people, with half the women and a fifth of the men in the country suffering from them. Those of Aryan descent are more prone to them than those with Dravidian ancestors, said senior haematologist Dr MB Agarwal recently.

Dr Agarwal was in the city for a CME and public forum organized by the city branch of Indian Academy of Paediatrics and Thalassaemia Society of Central India. He spoke to the doctors about the advances of managing the disease and gave the parents some important tips about taking care of their children suffering from thalassaemia.

“Blood disorders like anaemia, iron and vitamin deficiency, intestinal worms, excessive bleeding during periods in women and piles are some of the most common ones among Indians,” informed Dr Agarwal. He also spoke about the two hypotheses about how thalassaemia made its way among the Indian people.

“One theory says that being an equatorial population, the genes that cause thalasaemia developed among some tribes and communities as a defence mechanism against malaria. This happened as an evolutionary gene mutation. The other idea is that the Greeks, among whom the disease was widespread, mixed with the local populations, giving them the disease,” said Dr Agarwal.

Since the mixing happened primarily with people of North India, it is mostly seen in Aryans and is negligible among Dravidians. Another blood disorder that is common among certain ethnic groups from the North is glucose – 6 – phosphate dehydrogenase ( G6PD ) deficiency, he said.

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