A child may inherit thalassemia trait when only one parent has the genes responsible for it.
An inherited form of hemolytic anemia, thalassemia comes from the production of abnormal hemoglobin.
Thalassemia has several types that involve imbalances in the four chains of amino acids that comprise hemoglobin (alpha- and beta-globins).
In thalassemia minor or thalassemia trait (heterozygous thalassemia), also called alpha-thalassemia, there is an imbalance in the production of the alpha chain of amino acids.
In thalassemia minor, fetal hemoglobin (HbF), the hemoglobin form that circulates in the fetus, does not decrease normally after birth and may remain high in later life.