Simpore J, Pignatelli S, Barlati S, Musumeci S. Hemoglobin. 2002 May ;26(2):113-20.
PMID : 12144053
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The incidence of hemoglobinopathies (Hb C and Hb S) is relatively high in West Africa. In order to calculate the gene frequency of these hemoglobinopathies, 6619 students from 23 local schools in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa, and 2582 individuals living in five villages near Ouagadougou, all situated in Savanna, were studied. As expected, the gene frequency in the city schools was 0.111 for the betaC gene and 0.051 for the betaS gene ; in the five villages it was 0.122 for the betaC gene and 0.047 for the betaS gene. This data is somewhat different from that published in a previous study by Labie et al.  in the humid Savanna region, that showed a higher prevalence of betaC (0.14) than betaS (0.03), and is in contrast to data from the arid Sahel region that showed a higher prevalence of betaS (0.1) compared to betaC (0.05). The higher rate of betaS and lower rate of betaC in students in Ouagadougou, and in the individuals living in the five villages near Ouagadougou, suggest the possible influence of migratory fluxes of the betaS gene from the country region of Sahel. The dramatic increase in the prevalence of Hb SS patients, not reported in the study of Labie et al.,  may be the result of reduced mortality due to environmental change. In addition, the improved health conditions of Hb SC and the increased life expectancy of Hb SS, may also have facilitated the increase of the betaS gene and the focus on secondary prevention for the control of correlated diseases.