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- Anemia facts
- What is anemia?
- What causes anemia?
- Can inadequate iron cause anemia?
- Can inadequate iron cause anemia? (Continued)
- What about acute (sudden) blood loss as a cause of anemia?
- What are other causes of anemia?
- Can anemia be hereditary?
- What are the symptoms of anemia?
- How is anemia diagnosed?
- What is a complete blood cell (CBC) count?
- How is blood collected for a CBC?
- What is the red blood cell (RBC) count?
- What is hemoglobin?
- What does a low hemoglobin level mean?
- What is the hematocrit?
- How is hematocrit determined?
- How is anemia treated?
- What are the complications of anemia?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for anemia?
Can anemia be hereditary?
Yes, anemia may be genetic. Hereditary disorders can shorten the life span of the red blood cell and lead to anemia (for example, sickle cell anemia). Hereditary disorders can also cause anemia by impairing the production of hemoglobin (for example, alpha thalassemia and beta thalassemia).
Depending on the degree of the genetic abnormality, hereditary anemias may cause mild, moderate, or severe anemia. In fact, some may be too severe to be compatible with life and may result in death of the fetus (unborn infant). On the other hand, some of these anemias are so mild that they are not noticeable and are incidentally revealed during a routine blood work.