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 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
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