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The First Thalassaemia Forum on Growth and Endocrine Complications underlines the important role of endocrinologists

The Doha Forum was a beginning which will be followed by a series of intensive courses. The next one will again be in Doha in September 2012.

June 24th 2012

The first Thalassaemia Forum on Growth and Endocrine Complications in Thalassaemia took place in Doha Qatar on the 2nd and 3rd of October 2011. It is the first activity of a network of endocrinologists, known as I-CET, brought together by the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF), whose purpose is to spread knowledge and expertise concerning the monitoring and management of endocrine complications in iron overloaded thalassaemia patients. The endocrinologist is an important member of the multidisciplinary team due the high frequency of these complications in thalassaemia patients. Many patients in the world, more often those not treated in expert centres, are not monitored by an endocrinologist and so their quality of life is seriously affected by these complications.

In a literature review by Prof. V de Sanctis, derived from various country reports, it emerges that Hypogonadism occurs in 32-50% of patients, Short stature in 32-40%, Diabetes in 5-10%, hypothyroidism in 4-8% and hypoparathyroidism in 1.2-7.5%. In addition around 13% of patients have more than one endocrinopathy.  Reported difficulties in following these disorders include lack of familiarity with the medical treatment of endocrine complications, poor interpretation of endocrine results, the absence of a specialist for consultation and the high cost. ENERCA partners Dr. Michael Angastiniotis and Dr. Androulla Eleftheriou are amongst the authors of the article publidhes in Pediatric endocrinology reviews.

The purpose of the I-CET group is to promote interest by endocrinologists in this group of patients, encourage the multidisciplinary approach, to educate colleagues wishing to enter the field and also to prepare guidelines for monitoring and treating these endocrine disorders in thalassaemia. During the forum the issues discussed included the requirements of an expert centre, biomarkers for iron and antioxidant homeostasis, growth disorders, growth hormone treatment, bone disease, adrenal function, hypoparathyroidism and diabetes and hypothyroidism.    

The Doha Forum was a beginning which will be followed by a series of intensive courses. The next one will again be in Doha in September 2012.

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