Beta Thalassemia Statistics
Thalassemia is a type of inherited blood disorder that can cause anemia. It affects a person's ability to produce hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to all parts of the body. Hemoglobin is made up of two different protein chains: the alpha-globin chain and the beta-globin chain. Beta thalassemia occurs when there is a problem with the beta-globin chain.
Worldwide, beta thalassemia is considered a fairly common blood disorder, affecting an estimated 100,000 infants each year. The disease occurs most frequently in:
- Mediterranean countries
- North Africa
- The Middle East
- Southeast Asia.
In the United States, beta thalassemia is less common -- only 750 to 1,000 people are estimated to have the condition.