Other names for beta thalassemia include:
- Beta thalassemia minor (also called thalassemia minor or thalassemia trait)
- Beta thalassemia intermedia (also called thalassemia intermedia or mild Cooley's anemia)
- Beta thalassemia major (also called thalassemia major or Cooley's anemia)
- Mediterranean anemia.
Important information to keep in mind regarding beta thalassemia includes:
- Thalassemia is a group of inherited blood disorders that can cause mild to severe anemia. It occurs when there are problems with the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells. As a result, a person with thalassemia does not have enough hemoglobin or red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
- There are two main types of thalassemia: alpha and beta thalassemia. Alpha thalassemia occurs when there is a problem with the alpha-globin chain that is part of hemoglobin. Beta thalassemia occurs when there is a problem with the beta-globin chain.
- There are mild, moderate, and severe forms of beta thalassemia. The most common severe form of thalassemia seen in the United States is beta thalassemia major (Cooley's anemia). Cooley's anemia mainly affects people from Mediterranean countries and Asia.
(Click Beta Thalassemia Statistics for more information.)