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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Other Names for this Disease
  • A-Thalassemia
  • Alpha thalassemia
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Your Question

I was previously tested and diagnosed with alpha-thalassemia.  Does this disease go away or am I going to have this for the rest of my life?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Does alpha-thalassemia go away or will an individual have this condition her entire life?

Alpha-thalassemia is a genetic disease, which means it is caused by changes (mutations) in genes passed down (inherited) from parents.  Alpha-thalassemia is present at birth and continues throughout a person's whole life; this condition does not go away naturally.  However, the symptoms of this condition may vary over time, ranging from mild to severe, and treatments are available to help ease symptoms when they occur.[1]
Last updated: 1/25/2012

How might alpha-thalassemia be treated?

Treatment of alpha-thalassemia often includes blood transfusions to provide healthy blood cells that have normal hemoglobin.  Bone marrow transplant has helped to cure a small number of individuals with severe alpha-thalassemia.[2]
Last updated: 1/25/2012