Number of deaths of patients with thalassaemia major in the UK by intervals. The number of deaths in the 2000–2003 interval represents deaths during 4 years, and in all the other groups the number of deaths is over 5 years. Iron overload replaced anaemia as the commonest cause of death after 1970, when adequate transfusion schemes became the norm. Iron chelation therapy by subcutaneous infusion of deferoxamine was standard practice after 1980. In 1999, T2* CMR was introduced in the UK, and doctors caring for thalassemia patients were informed of the high cardiac death rate and new options for iron chelation therapy. There has been a 71% reduction in the annualized death-rate from iron overload since 2000.