α-Thalassemia: Hb H Disease and Hb Barts Hydrops Fetalis
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alpha-Thalassemia mutations are one of the most common mutations of man, and they cause Hb H disease and Hb Barts hydrops fetalis. Hb H disease is not necessarily a benign disorder as has been generally thought. Furthermore, in southern China and in Southeast Asia, there are 2-3 times more fetuses afflicted with the invariably fatal Hb Barts hydrops fetalis than with the beta-thalassemia major or intermedia. These findings underscore the public health importance of these hereditary disorders, and they call for better education, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research for these diseases.
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