Beta thalassemia or Cooley’s anemia is caused by mutations in the beta chain of the hemoglobin molecule. There is one beta chain gene on each 11th chromosome, for a total of two. How these genes are altered determines the specific type of beta thalassemia in a child. This form of thalassemia is usually so severe that it requires regular blood transfusions.
The symptoms of Cooley’s anemia generally appear before a child’s second birthday. The severe anemia related to this condition can be life-threatening. Children born with Cooley’s anemia are normal at birth, but develop severe anemia during the first year of life.
Cooley’s anemia effects approximately 1 in 272,000 or 0.00% or 1,000 people. In USA 38 from 10,348,276 people were affected from Cooley’s anemia.