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The gene frequencies of abnormal haemoglobins have been determined in a group of 100,000 Jamaican newborns screened over a period of 8 1/2 years. The population is predominantly of West African origin and the survey represents approximately one quarter of all island deliveries within the period of the study. The common beta globin chain abnormalities beta s and beta c occurred with gene frequencies of 0.055 and 0.019 respectively; beta thalassaemia was relatively rare. In contrast, alpha thalassaemia was quite common, occurring with a gene frequency of 0.183. In addition to these common abnormalities, the frequencies of 256 rare abnormal haemoglobins are described. This survey thus represents a complete and accurate documentation of the alpha and beta globin variants that occur in the Jamaican population.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





253 - 262


Gene Frequency, Hemoglobins, Abnormal, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Jamaica, Phenotype, Sickle Cell Trait, Thalassemia