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Thalassemia is an inherited disorder of the blood. It reduces the amount of hemoglobin (red blood cell) your body can make, thus resulting in the inability of the red blood cells to carry a sufficient supply of oxygen to where ever it is needed in the body. This will cause anemia and if not treated, the heart and other organs in the body will slowly fail due to the lack of oxygen and the patients will usually die within 1 to 18 years old. Many people originating from the Mediterranean area, the Middle East, Africa or Asia have thalassaemia trait in their genes. It is common in these regions because it helps to protect carriers against malaria. However, in this modern age, thalassemia is seen as a serious illness that affects children of all races.