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Hemoglobin trait

(hee-muh-gloh-bin • TRAYT)

General Condition Information

Other Names

  • Hemoglobin C trait
  • Hemoglobin C trait (carrier)
  • Hemoglobin D trait
  • Hemoglobin D trait (carrier)
  • Hemoglobin E trait
  • Hemoglobin E trait (carrier)
  • Hemoglobin other trait (carrier)
  • Hemoglobin trait (C, D, E, or Unidentified)
  • Hemoglobin trait conditions

Condition Type

Birth Prevalence

Hemoglobin traits are very common and can occur in any race or ancestral groups. However, hemoglobin traits are typically more common in African American, West African, East Indian, Southeast Asian, and Mediterranean backgrounds.

Screening Finding

Presence of fetal hemoglobin (F), hemoglobin S (S), and hemoglobin A (A)

What is hemoglobin trait

Hemoglobin traits are a group of inherited (genetic) conditions that affect some of the hemoglobin in blood. Hemoglobin is a part of your red blood cells, which carry oxygen in your body. In hemoglobin trait, some of the body’s normal hemoglobin is replaced with hemoglobin that is changed slightly, which is also called a variant hemoglobin.

Normal blood cells are round and shaped like doughnuts. Babies with hemoglobin trait typically have enough normal hemoglobin to have normal shaped red blood cells, so do not usually have any signs and symptoms.

Newborn Screening and Follow-Up

Condition Details

Treatment and Management

Most individuals with hemoglobin trait will never need treatment. Treatment is only usually needed if an individual starts to have signs or symptoms.

Community-based organizations (CBOs) are local agencies that provide services, education, and support to families affected by hemoglobin conditions like hemoglobin trait. To find a CBO near you, please visit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America’s list of member organizations.

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