Beta Thalassemia

Also known as: thalassemia, beta thalassemia major, beta thalassemia minor.

What is beta thalassemia?

Thalassemia is a medical condition in which the body makes less hemoglobin than usual. It causes anemia. There are two types of thalassemia, alpha and beta. Beta thalassemia impacts two different types of genes. When these genes are damaged or missing, it can cause beta thalassemia.

What causes beta thalassemia?

Beta thalassemia is a genetic disease, and the abnormal genes are passed along from parents to their children. A person must receive the genes from both parents in order to develop beta thalassemia.

What are the symptoms of beta thalassemia?

Possible symptoms of beta thalassemia include anemia, jaundice, tiredness, weakness, pale skin, poor appetite, repeat infection, abdominal swelling, slow growth and more.

What are beta thalassemia care options?

Beta thalassemia can be severe. Many people with the disease require regular blood transfusions in order to live a healthy life.


Reviewed by: Athena Pefkarou, MD

This page was last updated on: December 18, 2020 05:07 PM

Sickle Cell / Hemoglobinopathies Care Program

For over 30 years we've strived to offer a comprehensive, patient family focused health care delivery system that integrates local community resources.

Learn more

Learn more about

Beta Thalassemia Major

Beta thalassemia is an abnormality in the production of beta chains which causes the red cells to more easily breakdown resulting in mild to severe anemia. It is more common in Mediterranean (Italian or Greek), African or Southeast Asian peoples Learn more

Beta Thalassemia Trait (Minor)

A person with beta thalassemia minor has less severe symptoms than beta thalassemia major but can still pass along the genes to their children. Learn more

Thalassemia

Thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body produces hemoglobin that doesn’t function properly. Learn more

Chronic Transfusion Therapy/Hypertransfusion Therapy

Chronic transfusion therapy is a form of blood transfusion that is repeated on a “chronic,” or regular, basis. Learn more