A new haemoglobin, Haemoglobin Malay is described in a 22 year old Malay. Structural analysis showed a AAC----AGC mutation in codon 17, with the production of an abnormal beta chain (beta Malay) that has an Asn----Ser substitution at position beta 19. This haemoglobin variant could not be detected by conventional procedures.
The increase in menstrual blood loss associated with copper-bearing IUDs may cause or aggravate pre-existing anaemia. In order to evaluate this risk, 84 Malaysian women wearing copper-IUDs were studied longitudinally by means of serial measurements of blood haemoglobin concentration (Hb), serum iron (S/Fe) and transferrin saturation (T/S). The initial Hb was under 12 gm% in 33.7% of patients. The mean Hb showed no significant change up to 12 months while S/Fe fell significantly at the end of this time; the T/S was significantly reduced as early as 6 months post-insertion. There is a significant risk of anaemia following copper-IUD insertion, particularly with long-term usage. Progestogen-releasing IUDs may offer the most feasible solution to this problem in our local context since oral medication with iron or drugs to reduce menstrual blood loss is not practicable.