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Pre-Marital Screening for Thalassemia


Thalassemia is an inheritable blood disorder and it is a common condition amongst Malaysians especially if you are of Malay or Chinese descent. 1 in 20 Malaysians is a carrier for the Thalassemia genes.


What is Thalassemia?

Please refer to www.myhealth.gov.my for details under the heading of “kanak-kanak”/ “penyakit darah”  for details.


Why Is Pre-Marital Screening Important?

The incidence of Thalassemia is high amongst Malaysians. Hence if you have not done a screening test for yourself to detect a carrier state , you should have it done at a local clinic. This is a blood test and it is done free-of-charge at a government facility.

If you have been diagnosed as a Thalassemia carrier, your future partner should also be tested. This is important as if both of you are carriers for the Thalassemia gene, the chances of your child having the disease i.e. Thalassemia Major requiring regular blood transfusion is as high as 25% in each pregnancy. (Refer to diagram in Thalassemia page).

You and your future partner can transmit this gene to your children.

Therefore it is very important to get pre-marital screening to make wise choices before marriage.



Where & How

The health caregiver nearest to you will take some blood i.e. 2-3mls and send it to the laboratory.Your health carer will let you know of the results at your follow-up visit and advise you accordingly.



Last Reviewed : 11 September 2013
Content Writer : Datin Dr. Sheila Marimuthu
Accreditor : Dr. Thiyagar Nadarajaw