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Beta Thalassemia Statistics: An Introduction

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.

Beta Thalassemia Statistics: How Common Is It?

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
  • India
  • Southeast Asia.
In the United States, beta thalassemia is less common -- only 750 to 1,000 people are estimated to have the condition.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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