May 2014: Do You Know About Thalassemia?

ThalassemiaThalassemia is a serious condition that can lead to organ damage and even death. View CDC.gov’s feature in recognition of International Thalassemia Day on May 8th to find out more about related health problems, treatment, CDC’s work, and what you can do to make a difference.

Did you know that thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that occurs because red blood cells from a person with thalassemia don’t make enough of an important protein called hemoglobin? When there isn’t enough hemoglobin, the body’s red blood cells don’t function properly and they last shorter periods of time, so there are fewer healthy red blood cells traveling in the bloodstream.

Red blood cells carry oxygen to all the cells of the body. Oxygen is a sort of food that cells use to function. When there are not enough healthy red blood cells, there is also not enough oxygen delivered to all the other cells of the body, which may cause a person to feel tired, weak or short of breath. This is a condition called anemia. People with thalassemia may have mild to severe anemia. Severe anemia can damage organs and lead to death.

Visit our site to read the full feature and learn more today!

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