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GENDER, AGE VARIATIONS OF HAEMOGLOBIN GENOTYPE

Gender and Age Variations of Haemoglobin Genotype among Ebonyi State University Students


CHAPTER ONE

  1.                  INTRODUCTION

Haemoglobin refers to the respiratory pigment in the red blood corpuscles composed of an iron containing substance called haem combined with the protein globin (Fleming, 2000).

Haemoglobin has the reversible function of combining with and releasing oxygen. It takes up oxygen as blood passes through the tissues. Blood normally contain 12-18g/dl of haemoglobin. At birth, 45-90 % of haemoglobin is of the fetal type which is replaced by adult haemoglobin at the end of the first year of life (Weatheral and Clegg, 2001).

The genotype of every individual means the genetic makeup of the individual. This genotype depends on the gene which is inherited from one or both parents.(Ochei 2008).

Gene is a basic unit of heredity. It is therefore responsible for the transfer of hereditary characteristics from one generation to another, it comprises of the DNA and RNA sequences arranged at certain position on the chromosome in every feature posed by an individual (both internal and external), these features include skin, eye colour as well as the haemoglobin genotype.(Ochei 2008).

The haemoglobin genotype is determined by the type of haemoglobin gene which an individual inherits from both parents at conception time. A normal human adult posses the HbAA genotype which means that two haemoglobin A gene are inherited from one of each parents, there are also other haemoglobin genes, which includes the following, haemoglobins S, C, D E, with other rare type.

According to a research carried out by Zacheus Awotu 2006, in port-harcourt Nigeria, which was aimed at determining the percentage of abnormal Hb variants in students of Africa descent,  the frequency of HbAA individuals was 80.32%, 19.98% were HbAS, HbSS and other haemoglobin variants did not occur among the individuals. This report corresponds with a research carried out in Kenya; the prevalence of HbSS was also zero with HbAA having a higher frequency of 97%, and HbAS 3%.  The zero frequencies in these reports shows that the sickling gene pool is gradually reducing in the African population, it doesn’t mean a complete absence of the HbSS gene, because some other reports states otherwise, rather it implies that the low prevalence of the HbSS study population could be linked to the increased awareness of the disease, socio- economic condition and other environmental and genetic factors which have an overall effect on the sickling gene pool. (Zacheus, 2006).

1.1 JUSTIFICATION

Prior to the knowledge that most of my close friends are heterozygous carriers of the HbS gene, I was inspired to carry out the research work, because it would give an insight and a clear understanding on the haemoglobin genotype patterns in regards to normal haemoglobin, sickled haemoglobin and possible ways to prevent the occurrence of HbSS which is tragic to the society.

1.2 AIM AND OBJECTIVES

  • To determine the haemoglobin genotype of Ebonyi state university students.
  • To determine the sex involved in each haemoglobin genotype.
  • To determine the age bracket in each haemoglobin genotype.

1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Does gender affect haemoglobin genotype pattern?
  2. Is the haemoglobin genotype pattern more prevalent in males or in females?
  3. What is the role of gender in haemoglobin genotype pattern?

1.4  RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

  1. Gender affects haemoglobin genotype pattern.
  2. The haemoglobin genotype AA is more prevalent in males, while AS is more in females, the least haemoglobin gene.

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Topic: Gender and Age Variations of Haemoglobin Genotype among Ebonyi State University Students

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