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Objective: To study newborns and establish the numbers at risk with a bloodspot screening method. This information will demonstrate to Public Health Authorities the need to provide care for this population.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study of a sample of 399 newborns (95% CI) where there is an expected prevalence of 10% of abnormal hemoglobins. Mothers in at least the 36th week of gestation, living in the urban area of Buenaventura, were used. Umbilical cord blood was drawn and specimens fixed on filter paper and stored at 4°C. Isoelectric focusing electrophoresis assays were used to separate the hemoglobins. The results were reported according to the identified hemoglobin as F, A, S, C, D, and G.
Results: We processed 399 samples, 353 (88.5%) were normal (hemoglobin FA), 23 (5.8%) were heterozygous for hemoglobin C (FAC), 19 (4.8%) were heterozygous for hemoglobin S (FAS), 2 (0.5%) were heterozygous for hemoglobin G (FAG), 1 was heterozygous for hemoglobin D (FAD) and 1 was heterozygous combined S and C (FSC).
Conclusion: Hemoglobins S, C, D, and G are common among infants born in Buenaventura. Hemoglobin C occurred more frequently than in other reported studies. This study suggests that both detection and a follow-up program are required in areas with a high density of Afro-Colombian population.
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