Beta Thalassaemia as a Correlate of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Endocrine Complications

 

Beta thalassaemiatrait, a genetic disorder of haemoglobin synthesis has recently been found to be more prevalent among Nigerians than previously estimated. Beta thalassaemia can lead to iron overload, resulting in several endocrine abnormalities. These include glucose intolerance and diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism and hypoparathyroidism. Studies indicate that iron overload in these patients is associated with the development of significant insulin resistance, compensatory hyperinsulinemia and subsequently a decline in circulating insulin levels. These abnormalities have been reported to precede the manifestation of glucose intolerance and frank diabetes mellitus in patients with beta thalasssemia.

Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of metabolic abnormalities including insulin resistance central obesity, dysglycemia, atherogenicdyslipidemia, systemic hypertension, oxidative stress, proinflammatory, prothrombotic states and oxidative stress is now a major global health challenge. It is reportedly common among Nigerians and a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease.

Beta thalassemia trait and metabolic syndrome share the common feature of insulin resistance which is central to the pathogenesis of T2DM. β-thalassaemia trait and metabolic syndrome are reported  to be as high as 26% and 33% respectively in the Nigerian population. Though T2DMaffects 18.9% of Nigerians, MS is seen in 46% of patients with T2DM.  In addition, the relative risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus in patients with beta thalassemia trait has also been shown to be two times higher than in the general population.

The cluster of similarmetabolic abnormalities in these disorders may be consequences of common genetic and biochemical mechanisms.The aim of this project is to investigate the possible association of β-thalassaemia trait with the metabolic syndrome and some endocrine dysfunctions.

A total of two hundred individuals consisting of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, age and sex matched controls will be studied. Beta thalassaemia, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus and selected biochemical parameters will be assessed in the volunteers.

It is hoped that a clear understanding of the biochemical and possible interrelationship between beta−thalassaemia, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus will be elucidated. This study will result in establishing unique strategy for effectivemanagement of these disease conditions by a joint diabetes and thalassaemiaresearch group at the University of Ibadan.

 

 

Research Leader

Prof. E.O. Agbedana BSc. PhD, (Ib), NPOM

Dept. of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences,

University of Ibadan

 

Collaborating Research Leaders

 

Dr. Taiwo R. Kotila,

Dept. of Haematology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences,

 University of Ibadan

 

Dr. Jokotade O. Adeleye,

Dept. of Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences,

University of Ibadan

 

Dr. Mabel A. Charles-Davies, PhD

Dept. of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences,

University of Ibadan

 

Mr. M. Ogunlakin,

Dept. of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences,

University of Ibadan