Know My Trait is an awareness campaign that encourages young people and couples to find out whether they are carriers of a genetic trait that causes Thalassaemia and other blood disorders.
Thalassaemia and sickle cell anaemia are most common single gene disorders worldwide and the common cause of hereditary anaemia. NSW, and Western Sydney in particular, has seen increasing numbers of patients and carriers in recent years. By getting a simple blood test at your G.P., you can find out whether you carry the trait or not.
The campaign is supported by the Thalassaemia Society of NSW. A not-for-profit organisation that provides patient support as well as educates about thalassaemia, sickle cell anaemia and other blood disorders.
Thalassaemia and sickle cell anaemia are inherited genetic blood disorders that affect the red blood cells, causing severe anaemia and other health complications. It is most common in people whose ethnicity or ancestral history are from countries around the:
Mediterranean Sea, Middle East, India & South Asia, South-East Asia & China, North & Sub-Saharan Africa as well as regions of Central & South America
If you have ancestral history from any of these countries or have a history of anaemia, you may have a higher risk of being a genetic carrier. If either you or your partner is a genetic carrier, there is a chance that it can be passed on to your children, which can cause health implications throughout their life. It is important, and very easy, to get a test and Know My Trait.
The genetic trait can be passed on by one parent. It is important for people to be aware of their carrier status. Carriers may not have any symptoms and may be unaware.
When both parents carry the genetic trait there is a 25% risk of the child inheriting a major disorder requiring life-long care. This can impact on the child, parents and wider family.
If you Know, then you can get medical and genetic support to plan a healthy family.
Download a quick guide to ancestral and inheritance risk