To identify premarital couples who are carriers for hemoglobinopathies, a screening study was conducted in one of the southern cities of Turkey. For 2,113 couples, total blood count, Hb A2 and Hb F levels were determined and hemoglobin electrophoresis was performed. The frequency of Hb S was 4.6% and β thalassemia 2.3%. In 35 of 2,113 prospective families, both partners were found to be carriers. During the 4-year follow-up period, prenatal diagnosis was sought in 10 pregnancies of these at-risk families. This study indicated that premarital screening is a very useful tool for detecting carrier couples. The immediate beneficial effect of this study was the application of prenatal hemoglobinopathy diagnosis from the first pregnancy.

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