Background/Aim: It is not known why cerebrovascular and cardiovascular ischaemic events are less frequently observed in heterozygous beta thalassaemia (HBT) patients than in the general population. However, we previously reported that serum levels of some platelet function markers, i.e. soluble CD40 ligand and soluble P-selectin, are lower in patients with HBT than in controls. A high mean platelet volume (MPV) is an indicator of in vivo platelet activation and may indicate a tendency to thrombosis. We investigated whether MPV is lower in HBT patients than in controls. Methods: Forty-eight patients with HBT were compared with 51 controls matched for gender, age, and BMI for MPV in a cross-sectional study. Results: The MPV was within the normal range and higher in the HBT group (9.64 ± 1.20 vs. 9.07 ± 082 fL, p = 0.006). The 2 groups were similar in terms of atherosclerosis risk factors and medications. After linear regression analysis, the MPV was correlated with HBT, sensitive CRP, and BMI. Conclusion: The higher MPV in patients with HBT could indicate platelet activation, and this may represent a dilemma. Higher MPV in the HBT group might have resulted from higher sympathetic nervous system activity, mild ineffective erythropoiesis, and haemolysis.

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