Frequently Asked Questions2018-09-01T01:03:37+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Beta (β) thalassemias are a group of inherited blood disorders

Find out if you are at risk - get tested

Test Type Testing Time Fee

All orders received before 3pm PST / 6pm EST are shipped out the same business day. All orders received after 3pm PST / 6pm EST or on weekends or holidays are shipped out the following business day. 24/7 online status check and account management available for all tests.

What is the HBB gene?2016-12-21T20:40:59+00:00
The HBB gene encodes the β-globin component of hemoglobin. Mutations in this gene affect the shape and functionality of hemoglobin.
What are the types of beta thalassemia?2016-12-21T20:40:59+00:00
The most severe form is beta thalassemia major, where the person has two β0 mutations, so no β-globin is produced. Beta thalassemia intermedia occurs when one or both defective copies carries a β+ mutation so some β-globin can still be produced. Beta thalassemia minor (carrier) occurs when only one copy of the HBB gene carries a mutation. Beta thalassemia mutations can also be inherited with sickle cell mutations, resulting in sickle/beta thalassemia disorders of varying severity.
How common is beta thalassemia?2016-12-21T20:40:59+00:00
Beta thalassemia is a common inherited disorder in regions of the world where malaria is commonly transmitted by mosquitoes. Carriers of a beta thalassemia mutation have some protection against malaria infection, hence there is a selective advantage for retaining HBB genetic mutations in areas affected by malaria. Carrier frequency ranges from less than 3% in North America up to 19% in the Mediterranean and parts of Europe.
What are my risks of having a child with beta thalassemia if I have one defective HBB gene?2016-12-21T20:40:59+00:00
There is a 50% chance that a carrier of beta thalassemia (or beta thalassemia minor) will pass the defective copy of the HBB gene to their children. If two carriers have a child, there is a 25% chance that the child will inherit two defective HBB genes and suffer from beta thalassemia
What are the different types of mutations in the HBB gene that cause beta thalassemia?2016-12-21T20:41:00+00:00
Genetic mutations can reduce the level of β-globin production (β+ mutations) or completely eliminate the production of β-globin (β0 mutations).
If my parents or grandparents have beta thalassemia, am I at increased risk?2016-12-21T20:41:00+00:00
Yes. Beta thalassemia is caused by specific mutations in the HBB gene that can be passed from generation to generation.
How do I receive my results?2016-12-21T20:41:00+00:00
You can choose to receive your results report by mail, email or both. The test includes one copy of the results by mail and one copy by email at no charge. The results report is issued immediately once the testing is completed.
Are my results confidential?2016-12-21T20:41:00+00:00
Yes, your results are 100% confidential. No one will be able to access your account or your results unless you give them your confidential account login. You can change the password to your account at any time. Please remember to safeguard your login information and not share it with anyone.
How long do I have to send the samples back?2016-12-21T20:41:00+00:00
The DNA testing kit does not have an expiry date so you can use the kit at any time. Once the DNA sample is collected, the sample should be returned to the laboratory for testing within 3 months of the collection date. The DNA sample will remain stable for 3 months at room temperature after collection.
Can I have more than one copy of the results?2016-12-21T20:41:00+00:00
If your sample contains intact DNA, then a full DNA profile will be obtained. However, if your sample does not contain DNA or contains degraded DNA, then only a partial profile or no profile at all is obtained. Even if no profile is obtained, the cost still applies for each sample that is submitted.
Is there an age limit?2016-12-21T20:41:00+00:00
No, there is no age limit for Beta Thalassemia DNA Test testing. The test can be performed on individuals at any age, even newborns. The sample is collected easily and discretely using buccal swabs.
Which countries can you ship to?2016-12-21T20:41:01+00:00
The DNA collection kits can be shipped to any country in the world.
How long will testing take?2016-12-21T20:41:01+00:00
DNA testing begins immediately the day that your samples arrive at the laboratory and is completed within 5 to 7 business days. In some special situations, additional testing may be required, which could increase the turnaround time by a few extra days. You can check the status of your test online 24/7 using your secure account login. Your test report is released immediately once testing is complete.