Thalassemia is a congenital blood disorder often requiring chronic blood transfusions and iron chelation therapy [1,2]. While advances in treatment have resulted in increased life expectancy , extended life spans have exposed previously unidentified issues, including bodily pain. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence, severity, predictors, and effects of pain in 265 adults/adolescents and 103 children with thalassemia. Overall, 69% of adults/adolescents reported bodily pain on the SF-36v2 health survey, with 28% reporting at least moderate pain. Parents reported pain in 56% of children using the PF-28 child health questionnaire, with only 11% reporting pain fairly often. There were no significant differences in pain in children with thalassemia compared with the general population. In adults/adolescents, pain increased significantly with age (P = 0.005), more so than in the general population. This study highlights the fact that children and young adults with thalassemia experience pain comparable to the general population, whereas older adults (aged 35+) experience greater pain. Our findings show that increased pain is associated with decreased quality of life and increased anxiety and depression.
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