How many people have alpha-thalassemia?

Alpha-thalassemia is caused by changes in the HBA1 and/or HBA2 genes. We each have two copies of HBA1 and HBA2, for a total of four copies. Up to 5% of the world's population has a change in at least one copy of these genes. However, these individuals typically have ancestors from Southeast Asia or the Mediterranean regions of the world.

Piel, F. & Weatherall, D. (2014). The alpha-thalassemias. The New England Journal of Medicine, 1908-1916. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1404415

Vichinsky, E. (2012). Advances in the treatment of alpha-thalassemia. Blood Reviews, S31-S34.

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