Alternate Names : Thalassemia Major, Thalassemia Minor, Cooley's Anemia, Mediterranean Anemia
Thalassemia is an inherited condition that causes a problem in the
production of hemoglobin. This leads to anemia, which is a low red blood cell count.
What is going on in the body?
Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the
lungs to the tissues. It also carries away the waste product of carbon
dioxide. In thalassemia, something goes wrong with the production of
hemoglobin. When defective hemoglobin is incorporated into red blood cells, the
red blood cells do not function properly. They are more likely to die off.
This leads to anemia.
Thalassemia is an inherited disorder. In a person with thalassemia, one or both
parents are positive for the disease. When one parent is positive, the child
will have thalassemia minor. When both parents are positive, the child will
have thalassemia major.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Thalassemia is a common genetic disease. It is more common in people of
African, Mediterranean, and Asian heritage