Iron overload in beta-thalassemia major and intermedia patients leads to oxidative stress and causes to formation of lipid hydroperoxides. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) are a well established method for screening and monitoring of lipid peroxidation. We aimed to investigate serum TBARS and its relationship with biochemical and hematologic parameters of Turkish and immigrant Syrian beta-thalassemia children reflecting the effects of this socioeconomic condition on follow up of these patients. Lipid peroxidation products (TBARS) of Turkish (TR) (n = 62, from the cities of Gaziantep and Sivas, Turkey) and Syrian (SYR) (n = 34, from Gaziantep, Turkey) beta-thalassemia patients aged 2-17 years and 58 healthy subjects aged 2-16 years were studied. Liver and renal function tests, serum ferritin levels, white blood cell, absolute neutrophil and platelet counts, hemoglobin (Hb) levels of the patients were analyzed. Serum TBARS concentrations were found to be elevated in beta-thalassemia patients compared to healthy subjects (mean: 12.47 +/- 8.53 vs. 9.78 +/- 7.09, p = 0.045). In SYR patients mean pretransfusional Hb level (7.26.2.04 vs. 8.49 +/- 1.01, p = 0.002) was lower and ferritin levels (5983.56 +/- 5065.56 vs. 3234.60 +/- 2237.82, p = 0.001), liver enzymes (ALT: 77.82 +/- 76.48 vs. 42.13 +/- 51.50, p = 0.005) were higher when compared to TR group. Positive correlation between TBARS and ferritin levels (p = 0.029, r = 0.231) and liver enzymes (for ALT p < 0.001, r = 0.373) was observed. beta-thalassemia patients are under more oxidative stress than healthy subjects. Liver is one of the major organs which are mainly affected by oxidative stress. War and migration might have caused inappropriate transfusion conditions and insufficient chelation therapy in the SYR group.