The anemia in thalassemia occurs not because of a lack of iron, but because of a problem with either the alpha globin chain or the beta globin chain of hemoglobin. Iron supplements do nothing to improve the anemia of thalassemia, because missing iron is not the problem.
The red cell distribution width (RDW) is high in iron deficiency anemia because there is a wide variation in red cell size. In mild thalassemia (alpha or beta), the red cells are strangely all the same size; there is virtually no variation. So the RDW is low.
Beta thalassemia major (Cooley's anemia). This is the most severe type of beta thalassemia. It is often found during the first 2 years of life. Children often need frequent blood transfusions. This can cause serious problems with iron overload are common. Beta thalassemia intermedia. This type of thalassemia is common throughout the world.
A new index for discrimination between iron deficiency anemia and beta-thalassemia minor: results in 284 patients. Pak J Biol Sci. 2009 Mar 1;12(5):473-5. Nesa A, Tayab A, Sultana T, et al. RDWI is better discriminant than RDW in differentiation of iron deficiency anemia and beta thalassemia trait.
Background. Coexistence of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and beta thalassemia trait (BTT) has been the topic of few studies. However, no study from our country was found evaluating the effect of iron therapy in patients with concomitant IDA and BTT. Methods. Over a period of two years, 30 patients with concomitant IDA and BTT were included. All the patients had a complete blood count, serum.
Iron chelation is essential. Prophylactic iron chelators should be started within the first 2-3 years of life in transfusion dependent severe beta thalassemia cases. Deferoxamine is the first line.
Beta Thalassemia in Children What is beta thalassemia in children? Beta thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder. This means it is passed down through the parent’s genes. It is a form of anemia. Anemia is a low red blood cell or low hemoglobin level.. Avoiding iron supplements; Talk with your provider about genetic counseling.
Beta thalassemia occurs when similar gene defects affect production of the beta globin protein. Alpha thalassemias occur most often in people from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, China, and in those of African descent. Beta thalassemias occur most often in people of Mediterranean origin.