Beta thalassemia is an inherited blood disorders in which there is decreased production of normal adult hemoglobin (Hb A). Beta thalassemia is classified into two types depending on its severity: thalassemia major (also known as Cooley's anemia) and thalassemia major.
People with thalassemia minor have only one copy of the beta thalassemia gene (together with one perfectly normal beta-chain gene). People with thalassemia minor have (at most) mild anemia. The symptoms associated with thalassemia major appear within the first 2 years of life. Symptoms and signs include life-threatening anemia that causes failure to thrive (reduced growth rate and weight gain). Other symptoms and signs can include
- yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice),
- an enlarged spleen, liver, and heart, and
- misshapen bones.
Cause of beta thalassemia
A mutation in the beta-chain hemoglobin gene that is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner causes beta thalassemia.
Other beta thalassemia symptoms and signs
- Enlarged Spleen, Liver, and Heart
- Failure to Thrive
- Mild to Life-Threatening Anemia
- Misshapen Bones
- Yellowing of the Skin and Whites of the Eyes (Jaundice)
Main Article on Beta Thalassemia Symptoms and Signs
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