Pattern of leukaemia in Basrah


ABSTRACTBackground: In Basrah, previous studies reported increased risk of certain cancers including leukaemia. Two important features were reported: a rise in the incidence rate of leukaemias in children and an age shift towards younger children. These studies were limited by the incompleteness of data they used.Objectives: This paper is intended to present a profile on leukaemia in Basrah over the years 2005-2008. Methods: The cases of leukaemia presented in this paper represent all cases diagnosed, treated and registered in Basrah during the years 2005-2008. The cases were drawn from the pool of cancer registries in various health care institutions dealing with cancer using a case series study design. All available and verifiable cases were included in the study. Relevant incidence rates were calculated by dividing the average annual number of cases by mid-period population for each category used.Results: During the four – year study period, it was possible to identify 608 cases of leukaemia; 56.4% were among males and 43.6% were among females. More than half of the cases (52.8%) were from Basrah, 26.5% were from Thi Qar, 13.6% were from Missan, and 7.1% were from other governorates. The age-specific incidence rate in Basrah showed a bimodal distribution with higher rates at extreme ages. The crude incidence rate was 3.6 per 100000 population (3.9 per 100000 males and 3.2 per 100000 females). The age standardized incidence rate was 4.3 per 100000 males and 3.9 per 100000 females.Conclusion: Leukaemia is a significant malignant disease in Basrah. The figures of incidence rate point towards an upward trend, but still comparable to the figures from other Gulf countries. Keywords: Leukaemia, incidence, Basrah