International Thalassemia Day is celebrated annually on the 8th of May every year. The day acknowledges the patients who have fought with the disease and their families who have not given up on the lives of their loved ones. The day also signifies the struggles of scientists and doctors who are endlessly trying to improve circumstances for thalassemia patients across the world.
The theme for International Thalassemia Day, 2019 is ‘Universal access to quality thalassaemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for patients’. It is necessary to know and learn facts about the disease to be able to provide the best healthcare amenities to the patients. One such information is the risk factors of thalassemia.
How is Thalassemia a risk factor ?
Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder. People with thalassemia have less haemoglobin – the protein responsible for carrying oxygen to different parts of our body. Thalassaemia patients also have less red blood cells than normal people. Indications of thalassaemia include tiredness, weakness and slow growth in children.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder and cannot be caused by any external sources. Thalassemia is produced due to a genetic mutation, that can be transferred from parents to children. The risk factors of the disease are as follows. People can be at danger of thalassemia if they have a family history or ancestry of the disease. Thalassemia can affect both men and women.
Thalassemias are obtained from parents, grandparents, to children. The genes of the disease are passed from people in the family to the children and can cause the genetic mutation. If parents have missing or altered haemoglobin-making genes, the children can be at jeopardy of thalassemia. The genetic mutation can cause anaemia, reduce red blood cells, and the capacity of cells to carry haemoglobin. This can lead to decreased flow of blood to the whole body, causing you to feel fatigued and tired.
The other determinant that can put you at danger of thalassaemia according to National Institute of Health, is heritage. Since the gene can only be passed from parents to children, it is important to study the ancestry of the family. Thalassemia occurs usually in people of certain ethnic groups and descent. While alpha thalassemia is more typical in people from Southeast Asia, India, Chinese and Filipino descent, beat thalassemia affects people of Mediterranean descent – Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern, Asian and African descent.