How does someone get G6PD deficiency?
G6PD deficiency is inherited which means it is passed from one or both parents to the child. It is found in both males and females but it usually affects males more severely. It is found generally in people whose family originated from areas where malaria has been common such as the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Africa and South East Asia. For example, G6PD deficiency is found in approximately 1 in 5 Africans, 1 in 5 Thais, 1 in 10 Afro-Caribbeans, 1 in 12 Cypriots, 1 in 15 Indians and 1 in 30 Chinese. There are many different kinds of G6PD deficiency but the kinds found in people from the Mediterranean and South East Asia are usually more severe than the kinds found in other groups. People with G6PD deficiency may have some protection against malaria but it is still important for them to take malaria tablets when in areas of the world where malaria occurs.