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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects
Asian Americans and genetic disorders
Are there genetic disorders that affect primarily Asian Americans?
The most common genetic disorders that affect Asian Americans are the thalassemias. These are a group of inherited blood diseases that result in either no hemoglogin or a reduced amount of normal hemoglobin being produced. Hemoglobin is produed in the bone marrow and is found in red blood cells. It carries the oxygen that is taken in by the lungs to different parts of the body.
There are two major types of thalaseemia - Alpha Thalassemia and Beta thalassemia. Changes in the genes that control globin production (a part of hemaglobin) lead to the disorders known as thalassemias.
You can find additional information about thalassemias - what they are, treatment, how they are inherited, etc - at the website below.
Anne Matthews, RN, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University