Thalassemia risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Shyam Patel [2]


The risks factors for thalassemia include birth to parents of Mediterranean or Southeast Asian descent. There are some other geographic areas that have a high prevalence of thalassemia such that ancestry from these areas constitute a risk factor for development of thalassemia. Since this is a monogenic disorder, there are no other particular risk factors. Environmental factors do not play a role in development of thalassemia.

Risk Factors

  • Ethnicity: Patients at high risk include persons of Mediterranean countries, Southeast Asia, Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East.[1]
  • Gender: There is no gender predilection for thalassemia.


  1. Roselli EA, Mezzadra R, Frittoli MC, Maruggi G, Biral E, Mavilio F; et al. (2010). "Correction of beta-thalassemia major by gene transfer in haematopoietic progenitors of pediatric patients.". EMBO Mol Med. 2 (8): 315–28. PMC 3377331Freely accessible. PMID 20665635. doi:10.1002/emmm.201000083.