Home page > Your health > Thalassemia

Edit email address
Invalid email
Email Sent

What is thalassemia?

According to the Associação Brasileira de Talassemia [Brazilian Association of Thalassemia] (ABRASTA), thalassemia is a hereditary disorder (transmitted from parents to children) that commonly produces anemia, which is a common sign/symptom of various disorders of the human body. Therefore, it is not contagious, but caused by a genetic fault, which leads to a malformation of the hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein found in red blood cells, and is responsible for transporting oxygen to all cells, tissues and organs of the human body. There are some sub-types of thalassemia, which differ in severity and treatment. Treatment in some patients can be blood transfusions for the control of anemia. One concern is that after several transfusions, patients will suffer from a buildup of iron in the body. This can affect several organs including the heart, and lead to heart problems. ABRASTA therefore recommends introducing chelation therapy after approximately the tenth successive transfusion. Chelation eliminates this excess of iron with a specific medicine.