Who gets beta thalassemia?

Asked By: Jeanette Mcpherson | Last Updated: 2nd June, 2020
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Who Gets Beta Thalassemia? People inherit the genes for beta thalassemia from their parents. A child gets one beta protein gene from the mother and one from the father: Someone who inherits the gene change in the beta protein from one parent has beta thalassemia minor (beta thalassemia trait).

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Also question is, who is at risk for thalassemia?

You are at risk for thalassemia if you have a family history of it. Thalassemia can affect both men and women. Certain ethnic groups are at greater risk: Alpha thalassemia most often affects people who are of Southeast Asian, Indian, Chinese, or Filipino descent.

Likewise, what is the cause of beta thalassemia? Beta thalassemia is caused by mutations in the hemoglobin beta (HBB) gene. Individuals with beta thalassemia minor have a mutation in one HBB gene, while individuals with the intermediate and major forms have mutations in both HBB genes.

Also to know, is beta thalassemia genetic?

Beta-thalassemia major and beta-thalassemia intermedia are usually inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, which means both copies of the HBB gene in each cell have mutations . The parents of a person with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene and are referred to as carriers .

What are the symptoms of someone with beta thalassemia?

Affected individuals also have a shortage of red blood cells (anemia), which can cause pale skin, weakness, fatigue, and more serious complications. People with beta thalassemia are at an increased risk of developing abnormal blood clots.

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Should I take iron if I have thalassemia?

If you have thalassemia trait, your physician may prescribe iron supplements because your red blood cells are smaller than is typical. Unless you also have iron deficiency in addition to thalassemia, this is not needed and should be avoided.

Why can't thalassemia take iron?

People with thalassaemia may be advised to avoid iron supplements because they are at risk of iron overload. Carriers of the thalassaemia gene may be asymptomatic but pregnancy can precipitate anaemia and there is a chance that this may be inappropriately treated with iron replacement.

How long do thalassemia patients live?

A person with the thalassemia trait has a normal life expectancy. However, heart complications arising from beta thalassemia major can make this condition fatal before the age of 30 years.

Is folic acid good for thalassemia?

Many times people with thalassemia are prescribed a supplemental B vitamin, known as folic acid, to help treat anemia. Folic acid can help red blood cells develop. Treatment with folic acid is usually done in addition to other therapies.

What part of the body does thalassemia affect?


Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia. In beta thalassemia, the beta globin genes are affected.

What foods are good for thalassemia?

Green and leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are known as iron-rich food items. These are on top of the 'food-not-to-eat' list for thalassemic patients.

What are the main causes of thalassemia?

Thalassemia is caused by mutations in the DNA of cells that make hemoglobin — the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. The mutations associated with thalassemia are passed from parents to children.

How did thalassemia start?

Thalassemia, or Mediterranean anemia, was first described in 1925 by a Detroit physician who studied Italian children with severe anemia (low levels of red blood cells), poor growth, huge abdominal organs, and early childhood death. In 1946, the cause of thalassemia was found to be an abnormal hemoglobin structure.

Is beta thalassemia dangerous?

Beta thalassemia disease is not a form of sickle cell disease, but it is a serious lifelong illness. People who have beta thalassemia disease do not make enough hemoglobin.

Is beta thalassemia contagious?


Thalassemias are a group of blood disorders that affect the way the body makes hemoglobin. People who are carriers of a thalassemia gene show no thalassemia symptoms and might not know they're carriers. If both parents are carriers, they can pass the disease to their kids. Thalassemias are not contagious.

Is thalassemia more common in males or females?

As of 2015, thalassemia occurs in about 280 million people, with about 439,000 having severe disease. It is most common among people of Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African descent. Males and females have similar rates of disease.

What is beta thalassemia trait?

Beta thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the body doesn't make hemoglobin normally. Hemoglobin is the part of red blood cells (RBCs) that carries oxygen throughout the body. Depending on the type of beta thalassemia, symptoms can be mild or very severe.

How is beta thalassemia treated?

Treatment may include:
  1. Regular blood transfusions.
  2. Medicines to reduce extra iron from your body (called iron chelation therapy)
  3. Surgery to remove the spleen, if needed.
  4. Daily folic acid.
  5. Surgery to remove the gallbladder.
  6. Regular checks of heart and liver function.
  7. Genetic tests.
  8. Bone marrow transplant.

Why is beta thalassemia more common?

Both lead to absence of beta globin chain production. The beta thalassemia syndromes are much more diverse than the alpha thalassemia syndromes due to the diversity of the mutations that produce the defects in the beta globin gene.

What chromosome is thalassemia found on?


There are two copies of the hemoglobin alpha gene (HBA1 and HBA2), which each encode an α-chain, and both genes are located on chromosome 16. The hemoglobin beta gene (HBB) encodes the β-chain and is located on chromosome 11. In α-thalassemia, there is deficient synthesis of α-chains.

What is the other name of thalassemia?

Sometimes, thalassemias have other names, like Constant Spring, Cooley's Anemia, or hemoglobin Bart hydrops fetalis. These names are specific to certain thalassemias – for instance, Cooley's Anemia is the same thing as beta thalassemia major.

Can thalassemia turn into leukemia?

The occurrence of thalassemia with leukemia is a rare event. noted the malignancies as a forth cause of death after cardiac disease, infection and liver disease in thalassemia major patients. They also reported the death of 8 cases of thalassemia major patients with malignancies [6].