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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 1, Issue 3, Pages 129-132
Review article

The Spectrum of β-Thalassemia Mutations in the Arab Populations

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Arab countries encompass a wide region stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean. The Arab population is quite heterogeneous and has experienced various invasions and migrations throughout history. β-thalassemia is endemic in all countries of the Arab world. Our review of the molecular basis of β-thalassemia in various Arab countries reveals the presence of 52 mutations, which are mostly of Mediterranean and Asian origin. The distribution of mutations reflects the geographical and historical backgrounds of each region. However, no specific mutation is confined to the Arabs, although some Arab countries do have unique mutations.