Some Common Variations


If a child inherits beta thalassaemia from one parent and Hb E, Hb O Arab or Hb Lepore from the other parent, then the child will have a type of thalassaemia. If this happens the child may develop medical problems associated with beta thalassaemia intermedia or beta thalassaemia major.

If a child inherits beta thalassaemia from one parent and sickle cell from the other parent, then the child will have a type of sickle cell disease called "sickle beta thalassaemia". If this happens the child may develop medical problems associated with sickle haemoglobin.

If your child is a carrier of beta thalassaemia it's advisable for you as parents to find out your haemoglobin types to determine if there is any risk of serious haemoglobinopathy in future pregnancies. It's also advisable to test any other children in your family.

Haemoglobin H Disease


People with Haemoglobin H disease are anaemic; their haemoglobin level is considerably lower than normal. All the same, most people with Haemoglobin H disease are quite well; they can work and have children like other people and do not need any special treatment.

Most couples who could have children with Haemoglobin H disease are not really worried. They usually ask to have the baby tested as soon as it is born, so that they can know the situation. If the baby does have Hb H disease, the parents are advised to attend a regular clinic a few times a year, just to check that the baby is growing well and make sure that there are no additional problems.