The most familiar type of
thalassemia is beta thalassemia. It involves
decreased production of normal adult hemoglobin
(Hb A), the predominant type of hemoglobin from
soon after birth until death. (All hemoglobin
consists of two parts: heme and globin). The
globin part of Hb A has 4 protein sections
called polypeptide chains. Two of these chains
are identical and are designated the alpha
chains. The other two chains are also identical
to one another but differ from the alpha chains
and are termed the beta chains. In persons with
beta thalassemia, there is reduced or absent
production of beta globin chains.
Beta Thalassemia At A Glance
Thalassemias are inherited blood disorders.
Thalassemia patients make defective
two forms of beta thalassemia: thalassemia
minor and thalassemia major (also called
thalassemia is more frequent in people of
Italian and Greek origin.