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What Is Thalassemia: How This Blood Disorder Affects Future Prodigy?

What Is Thalassemia: How This Blood Disorder Affects Future Prodigy?

Getting Married? Match Your Blood Type and Not Your Kundli (Horoscope).

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : June 13, 2023 9:12 AM IST

Since olden times, matching kundli was a familiar ritual before marriage to determine the compatibility between a boy and a girl and ensure a happy marriage. Many Hindu families still believe in this culture, and marriage is solemnized if at least 28 out of 36 virtues match. So many love stories break on Kundli mismatch, and many suitable matches were declined on the same fear. No study or data supports that a well-matched horoscope guarantees a long, happy, healthy marriage and that nothing will go wrong. Despite perfect kundli matches, many marriages are dragging or breaking. Dr Chetna Jain, Director Dept of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Sector 14, Gurgaon, explains when one wonders whether a more scientific approach is necessary.

We Should Take Advantage Of Modern Science

By matching blood types for inherited diseases, we can prevent the passage of abnormal genes and various diseases to the next generation. Thalassemia is one such significant disease. There is little public awareness about these deadly heritable diseases, such as Thalassemia, which gets transmitted to our children. We need an understanding that helps reduce the disease burden on the family and the nation and helps build a healthy, disease-free, prosperous nation.

Let's Understand What Thalassemia Is

Thalassemia is a disorder where the body produces less number of healthy red blood cells, and the haemoglobin remains low. Both Alpha and Beta Thalassemia have minor and significant varieties.

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People with mild disease have low haemoglobin. Most of them lead an everyday life and rarely need any treatment. Most babies with Thalassemia major will have symptoms by the age of 2 years. The symptoms start to appear at age six months when fetal haemoglobin disappears.

Thalassemia Minor

Most people who reach adulthood have Thalassemia minor, i.e. only one of their haemoglobin chains is abnormal. They lead a relatively everyday life. They grow up as normal adults, and most are unaware of their Thalassemia status. In India, it's discovered when haemoglobin is found low, blood investigations are done to see if it's iron deficiency anaemia or anaemia due to Thalassemia. Many Beta Thalassemia minors are discovered during routine pre-pregnancy or pregnancy checkups. Alpha Thalassemia is less common in India.

Thalassemia Carrier

If a woman is found to be a Thalassemia carrier(minor), the male partner is tested. If the partner is normal, then significant disease is unlikely in the baby, and the pregnancy can proceed normally. When both partners are Thalassemia minor, there is a 25% chance that the baby born is primary. These babies/ children will have one or more problems like fatigue, weakness, pale or yellowish skin, face and bone deformities like chipmunk face, slow growth, abdominal swelling due to enlarged liver and spleen, gall bladder stones, dark urine, late puberty, heart failure, diabetes, thyroid disease etc.

Treatment And Quality Of Life

Quality of life is inferior in children with Thalassemia major. Treatment usually involves repeated blood transfusions. Hence it's essential to diagnose the disease during pregnancy. Diagnosis is generally made at the end of 3 months of pregnancy. Once Thalassemia's significant disease is analysed in the fetus, parents are counselled about the future outcome. In the majority, termination of pregnancy is recommended, which most parents accept. This can be prevented.

How To Prevent Thalassemia?

The only way to prevent such pregnancies and the birth of affected children is by identifying your Thalassemia status and marrying someone who does not have it. This will not compromise life, and the couple will have children with no significant disability. It's not taboo to declare your Thalassemia status. If you have low haemoglobin and your blood iron levels are normal, please get tested for Thalassemia by doing a test known as haemoglobin electrophoresis.


Sometimes Beta Thalassemia is associated with other abnormalities like Alpha Thalassemia or Sickle cell disease. Preconception counselling can help couples identify such risk factors and understand the steps needed to prevent the birth of babies with Thalassemia significant disease.

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