Common triggers include cold temperatures, dehydration, excessive amounts of exercise and tobacco smoke.
The whites of the eyes and skin often have a yellowish tint.
Environmental factors often play a role in the occurrence of painful attacks.
Most carriers lead completely normal, healthy lives.
Thalassaemia major requires regular blood transfusions to maintain an adequate supply of haemoglobin and sustain life.
In the Region, the majority of children with the most severe form of the disease die before the age of 5, usually from an infection or severe blood loss.