Q. I have HbE disease, and my wife has HbE trait. How will it affect our baby?

Answered by
Dr. Parth R Goswami
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 02, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 07, 2021

Hi doctor,

My wife and I are both 29 years old. I have been diagnosed with hemoglobin E disease. My hemoglobin A is 68.7 g/dL, hemoglobin F is 9 g/dL, and hemoglobin E and A2 are 26 g/dL. And my wife has been diagnosed with a hemoglobin E trait. Her hemoglobin A is 9.1 g/dL and hemoglobin E and A2 are 77.1 g/dL. We are planning for a baby. What is the possibility of our baby acquiring thalassemia major? What are the other complications during or after pregnancy? I have always had mild anemia, my hemoglobin always ranges from 9.5 to 11 g/dL.



Welcome to

I have gone through your attached reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity) and history.

  • Hemoglobin E disease or trait is an autosomal recessive condition. You are hemoglobin E disease patient, which means you are homozygous, and your wife has hemoglobin E trait, so she is heterozygous.
  • In such conditions, there is a 50 % chance of the child having hemoglobin E disease and 50 % chance of having hemoglobin E trait. So, the chances are 50 % for both disease and trait.
  • If your child is heterogeneous, then he will not have any symptoms like that of your wife. But if the child acquires hemoglobin E disease, then mild hemolytic anemia will be there with spleen enlargement. But this condition is not as severe like that of beta thalassemia disease.
  • There are no chances of the child developing beta thalassemia, which is altogether a different condition. Before conception, genetic counseling is advisable. Take care.

For more information consult a hematologist online -->

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