What is G6PD deficiency?
G6PD deficiency is the lack of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (an enzyme present in red blood cells) in the blood, which can cause a type of anemia known as hemolytic anemia. Red blood cells carry oxygen in the body and G6PD protects these cells from natural oxygen chemicals that may build up when you have a fever or take certain medications. If there are too many of these chemicals, they can destroy the red blood cells, causing hemolytic anemia. G6PD deficiency is inherited – people are born with the deficiency.
Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an enzyme deficiency of the red blood cells. G6PD deficiency leads to an abnormal rupture (breakage) of the red blood cells called hemolytic anemia (abnormally low red blood cell count). G6PD deficiency is the most common known human enzyme disease, affecting 10% of the world’s population. What is the cause of G6PD deficiency? The abnormal gene responsible for this inherited enzyme deficiency is located on the X-chromosome. Therefore, the illnesses associated with G6PD deficiency occur more frequently in males than females, since males only have one X-chromosome. There are different degrees of G6PD deficiency, which vary according to the magnitude of the missing enzyme. G6PD deficiency occurs more frequently in African Americans, Italians, Greeks, Asians, and other Mediterranean peoples. The degree of red blood cell rupture (hemolysis) varies according to the degree of enzyme deficiency and the drug exposure. Usually, the hemolytic