- Alpha thalassemia facts*
- What is alpha thalassemia?
- What are the symptoms of alpha thalassemia?
- What are the types of alpha thalassemia?
- How common is alpha thalassemia?
- What genes are related to alpha thalassemia?
- How do people inherit alpha thalassemia?
- Patient Comments: Alpha Thalassemia - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Alpha Thalassemia - Diagnosis
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Alpha Thalassemia Facts*
*Alpha thalassemia facts medical author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
- Alpha thalassemia is a blood disorder that reduces the production of
hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells
throughout the body.
- There are two types of alpha thalassemia, hemoglobin Bart hydrops
fetalis syndrome or Hb Bart syndrome (the more severe form) and HbH disease.
- Alpha thalassemia also occurs frequently in people from Mediterranean
countries, North Africa, the Middle East, India, and Central Asia.
- Alpha thalassemia typically results from deletions involving the HBA1
and HBA2 genes.
- People who have alpha thalassemia trait can have
mild anemia. However,
many people with this type of thalassemia have no signs or symptoms.
- Treatments for thalassemias depend on the type and severity of the disorder.
What is alpha thalassemia?
Alpha thalassemia is a blood disorder that reduces the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells throughout the body.
What are the symptoms of alpha thalassemia?
In people with the characteristic features of alpha thalassemia, a reduction in the amount of hemoglobin prevents enough oxygen from reaching the body's tissues. Affected individuals also have a shortage of red blood cells (anemia), which can cause pale skin, weakness, fatigue, and more serious complications.
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