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Diseases » Beta thalassemia » Summary

What is Beta thalassemia?

What is Beta thalassemia?

  • Beta thalassemia: Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder characterized by abnormal synthesis of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin consists of two main protein chains called alpha and beta. Beta thalassemia involves defects in one or more of the two genes required to make each ? protein chain. The main symptom is anemia, the severity of which can vary amongst patients depending on how many defective genes are involved.

Beta thalassemia is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Beta thalassemia, or a subtype of Beta thalassemia, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Ophanet, a consortium of European partners, currently defines a condition rare when it affects 1 person per 2,000. They list Beta thalassemia as a "rare disease".
Source - Orphanet

Beta thalassemia: Introduction

Types of Beta thalassemia:

Broader types of Beta thalassemia:

How serious is Beta thalassemia?

Prognosis of Beta thalassemia: The prognosis varies depending on how severe the condition is but even the most severe form can result in a reasonable prognosis if treatment is delivered and complications are managed appropriately.
Complications of Beta thalassemia: see complications of Beta thalassemia

What causes Beta thalassemia?

Causes of Beta thalassemia: see causes of Beta thalassemia

What are the symptoms of Beta thalassemia?

Symptoms of Beta thalassemia: see symptoms of Beta thalassemia

Complications of Beta thalassemia: see complications of Beta thalassemia

Can anyone else get Beta thalassemia?

More information: see contagiousness of Beta thalassemia
Inheritance: see inheritance of Beta thalassemia

Beta thalassemia: Testing

Diagnostic testing: see tests for Beta thalassemia.

Misdiagnosis: see misdiagnosis and Beta thalassemia.

How is it treated?

Doctors and Medical Specialists for Beta thalassemia: Hematologist, Medical Geneticist ; see also doctors and medical specialists for Beta thalassemia.
Treatments for Beta thalassemia: see treatments for Beta thalassemia
Research for Beta thalassemia: see research for Beta thalassemia

Name and Aliases of Beta thalassemia

Main name of condition: Beta thalassemia

Other names or spellings for Beta thalassemia:

Cooley's Anemia, Erythroblastic Anemia, Mediterranean Anemia, Thalassemia intermedia, Thalassemia Major, Beta thalassemia major, Severe type of hereditary anemia with elliptocytosis, Cooley's erythroblastic anemia, Familial erythroblastic anemia

Beta thalassemia: Related Conditions

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Beta thalassemia:


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