What are the racial predilections for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency?

Updated: Feb 19, 2019
  • Author: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

G6PD deficiency affects all races. The highest prevalence is in persons of African, Asian, or Mediterranean descent. [13, 17] The severity of G6PD deficiency varies significantly among racial groups. Variants producing severe deficiency primarily occur in the Mediterranean population. African populations have milder hemolysis due to higher enzyme levels.

G6PD deficiency is an X-linked inherited disease that primarily affects men. Women may be affected if they are homozygous, which occurs in populations in which the frequency of G6PD deficiency is quite high. Heterozygous women (carriers) can experience clinical disease as a result of X chromosome inactivation, gene mosaicism, or hemizygosity.


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