Delta-beta thalassemia exists in both heterozygous and homozygous forms. The symptoms are mild to moderate depending on the severity of the disease and can include mild, hypochromic anemia, slight hepatomegaly and/or splenomegaly and occasional bone changes due to the erythroid hyperplasia. Patients rarely require treatment; however blood transfusions may be necessary in certain cases.
In this condition, the body compensates for the lack of beta and delta chain production by increasing the production of gamma globin chains, leading to an increased hemoglobin F level.
This form of beta thalassemia can be found in many ethnic groups but is most common in persons from Greece, Africa, and Italy.