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Thalassemia Causes & Risks


This condition is caused by genetic material known as genes. Genes are inherited from the biological parents. There are four alpha genes and two beta genes.

The disease can develop if only one parent has abnormal genes. If only one gene is inherited, the person will be a carrier of the disease. They will have mild or no symptoms.

Risk Factors

Risk factors that increase your chance of Thalessemia include:

  • Geographic location of ancestors, including:
    • Alpha thalassemias—Southeast Asia, Malaysia, and Southern China
    • Alpha hydrops fetalis—Southeast Asian, Chinese, and Filipino ancestry
    • Beta thalassemias—Africa, areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, and Southeast Asia
  • A family history of the disorder

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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