Thalassemia is Commonly Called Anemia

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THALASSEMIA Thalassemia is an inheritable blood disorder wherein the body synthesizes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. According to Giardina & Rivella (2013), the thalassemias are inherited as pathologic alleles of one or more of the globin genes located on chromosomes 11 and 16. These lesions range from the total deletion or rearrangement of the loci to point mutations that impair transcription, processing, or translation of globin mRNA (p. 505). This disorder may further lead to the excessive destruction of red blood cells, commonly known as anemia. The name thalassemia is derived from the Greek word thalassa which means “the sea”. It was first characterized as the anemias frequently encountered in the populations living near the Mediterranean Sea. They are most prevalent in the Mediterranean basin and tropical or subtropical regions of Asia and Africa. The “thalassemia belt,” with 2.5% to 15% prevalence of the said disorder, consists the shores of the Mediterranean and throughout the Arabian peninsula; Turkey, Iran, India and Southeast Asia, notably in Thailand, Cambodia and southern China. These areas were also historically affected by endemic malaria. Giardina & Rivella (2013) analyzed that “Malaria seems to have conferred selective survival advantage to thalassemia heterozygotes in which infection with the malarial parasite is believed to result in milder disease and less impact on reproductive fitness. Therefore,
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