Addressing the burden of neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia in countries with significant glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency

Acta Paediatr. 2014 Nov;103(11):1102-9. doi: 10.1111/apa.12735. Epub 2014 Aug 15.


Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an established worldwide risk factor for severe hyperbilirubinaemia. This literature review examined the pattern and management of severe hyperbilirubinaemia in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where G6PD deficiency was 10% or more and found that it was frequently associated with neonatal mortality and, or, neurodevelopmental disorders.

Conclusion: Low- and middle-income countries need to pay urgent attention to G6PD deficiency to curtail the preventable burden of jaundice-related morbidity, mortality and disability.

Keywords: Acute bilirubin encephalopathy; Child disability; Developing countries; Kernicterus; Phototherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness
  • Developing Countries
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / complications*
  • Humans
  • Hyperbilirubinemia, Neonatal / diagnosis
  • Hyperbilirubinemia, Neonatal / epidemiology
  • Hyperbilirubinemia, Neonatal / etiology*
  • Hyperbilirubinemia, Neonatal / therapy
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Poverty
  • Severity of Illness Index