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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6218437, 7 pages
Research Article

Body Composition in Adult Patients with Thalassemia Major

1Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Larissa, Medical School of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
2Department of Radiology, General Hospital of Larissa, Greece

Received 14 May 2016; Accepted 7 August 2016

Academic Editor: Michael Horowitz

Copyright © 2016 Marianna Vlychou et al. 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.


Objective. To assess body composition in adult male and female patients with thalassemia major by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and to compare the findings with a group of healthy age-matched controls. Methods. Our study group included sixty-two patients (27 males, mean age 36 years, and 35 females, mean age 36.4 years) and fifteen age-matched healthy controls. All patients had an established diagnosis of thalassemia major and followed a regular blood transfusion scheme since childhood and chelation treatment. Fat, lean, and bone mineral density (BMD) were assessed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Ferritin levels and body mass index of all patients and controls were also recorded. Student t-test and Wilcoxon test were performed and statistical significance was set at . Results. BMD and whole body lean mass are lower in both male and female adult patients compared with controls ( in both groups), whereas whole body fat mass was found to have no statistically significant difference compared to controls. Regional trunk fat around the abdomen was found to be lower in male patients compared to controls (). Conclusion. Severe bone loss and diminished lean mass are expected in adult male and female patients with thalassemia major. Fat changes seem to affect mainly male patients.