Encyclopedia > Thalassaemia

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Thalassaemia is an inherited disease of the erythrocytes, (the red blood cells), classified as a hemoglobinopathy: the genetic disorder results in synthesis of an abnormal hemoglobin molecule. The blood cells are vulnerable to mechanical injury and die easily. To survive, many people with thalassaemia need blood transfusions at regular intervals.

This disease tends to occur in areas with a past history of malaria, since it confers a degree of protection against that disease. In that respect it resembles another genetic disease, sickle-cell anemia.

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