The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines hemoglobinopathy as a group of disorders passed down from one generation to another that are characterized by an abnormal structure or production of the hemoglobin molecule. Hemoglobinopathy disorders include sickle cell anemia, hemoglobin C disease, hemoglobin S-C disease, and various forms of thalassaemia. The growing prevalence of hemoglobinopathy disorders, particularly sickle cell anemia, has boosted the growth of the global hemoglobinopathies market.
Though the prevalence of hemoglobinopathies is high across under-developed economies, including countries in Southeast Asia and the Sub-Saharan region, the global hemoglobinopathies market is expected to grow across developed and developing economies in North America and Asia Pacific, respectively, due to better health care infrastructure.
The introduction of advanced diagnostics and therapeutics will likely boost the growth of the market in the coming years. Genetic testing, blood testing, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, prenatal genetic testing, and hemoglobin electrophoresis are some of the key diagnostics for identifying hemoglobinopathies disorders. Iron chelation therapy, blood transfusion, hydroxyurea, and bone marrow transplant are the common therapies available in the market. Research and development activities and regulatory support are shaping the future of the global hemoglobinopathies market.
Among various hemoglobinopathy disorders, sickle cell anemia is the most common inherited blood disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 5% of the world’s population carries trait genes for hemoglobinopathy disorders such as thalassaemia and sickle cell anemia. While sickle cell anemia is most common across Africa, various forms of thalassaemia are prevalent in the Middle East, the Mediterranean basin, and Asia. In sickle cell disease, the half-moon shape of red blood cells causes poor blood oxygen levels and blood vessel blockages. This leads to anemia among the patients.
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The rapid rise in the number of people affected by the disease has led governments and regulatory authorities to initiate awareness programs to decrease hemoglobinopathy-related mortality rates. For example, in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started the Thalassaemia Data Collection Project and Blood Safety Monitoring. All these factors are expected to positively impact the growth of the global hemoglobinopathies market.
Further, the increased awareness about genetic testing for diagnosis of sickle cell anemia and other hemoglobinopathy disorders is anticipated to contribute significantly toward the growth of the market in the near future. Genetic testing has emerged as the most cost-effective strategy to reduce the prevalence of hemoglobinopathy disorders.
The global hemoglobinopathies market has been segmented into four key regions: Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Rest of the World. Sickle cell anemia is most common in Central and West Africa where about 25% of the population has sickle cell trait and around 1%-2% of all babies are born with a form of the disease. In North America, particularly in the U.S., where the population is estimated to be over 270 million, around 1,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease every year.
The growing prevalence of various hemoglobinopathy disorders, along with a high level of awareness about hemoglobinopathy-related genetic testing has propelled the growth of the hemoglobinopathies market in North America. However, in the coming years, improving health care infrastructure in Asia Pacific and introduction of low-cost diagnostic alternatives are projected to boost the growth of the market in the region.
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