Table of Contents
- Anemia definition and facts
- What is anemia?
- What are the signs and symptoms of anemia?
- What causes anemia?
- What is iron deficiency anemia?
- What are other types and causes of anemia?
- Can anemia be hereditary?
- How does blood loss cause 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?
- What is the treatment for anemia?
- What are the complications of anemia?
- What is the prognosis for a person with anemia?
Can anemia be hereditary?
Yes, anemia may be genetic. Hereditary disorders create abnormal hemoglobin and 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 normal 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 routine blood work.