We studied serum lipids and lipoproteins in 20 patients with β-thalassemia major, under high transfusion programme and regular chelation therapy, and in 20 control subjects. Total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, HDL2- and HDL3-cholesterol, apolipo-protein A and B levels were significantly lower in patients with Cooley’s anemia, whereas free cholesterol, triglycerides and the HDL-/HDL3-cholesterol ratio did not differ in the two groups. We think that liver damage plays an important role in determining the altered lipoprotein pattern in β-thalassemia major. However, other factors may contribute to cause such lipid changes.

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