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Can a man with HbAC marry a woman with genotype HbAS?

Answered by: Dr Anil Handoo

Consultant, Department of Haematology, B L Kapoor Memorial Hospital, New Delhi

Q. Can a man with HbAC marry a woman with genotype HbAS? What are the implications?

A.  As far as marriage of a man having heterozygous HbAC state with heterozygous AS is concerned, it is very much possible. Health implications to the respective groom and the bride are minimal as they are in a heterozygous state, and there is enough HbA available to take care of the routine oxygenation. However, stress (physical/ trauma etc.) can reduce the available HbA and therefore cause symptoms, which are generally mild. This however, in routine practice is unusual. Implications to the future progeny however, is immense. There is 25% chance of having a baby with SC disease, which is a symptomatic disease state leading to a haemolytic anaemia, this in turn can cause many effects in the baby. Obviously, at the time of pregnancy in such a case one would need Pre-natal diagnosis to decide about the pregnancy termination if the fetus is SC genotype, I would suggest getting in touch with a geneticist for counselling and further understanding.

A.  As far as marriage of a man having heterozygous HbAC state with heterozygous AS is concerned, it is very much possible. Health implications to the respective groom and the bride are minimal as they are in a heterozygous state, and there is enough HbA available to take care of the routine oxygenation. However, stress (physical/ trauma etc.) can reduce the available HbA and therefore cause symptoms, which are generally mild. This however, in routine practice is unusual. Implications to the future progeny however, is immense. There is 25% chance of having a baby with SC disease, which is a symptomatic disease state leading to a haemolytic anaemia, this in turn can cause many effects in the baby. Obviously, at the time of pregnancy in such a case one would need Pre-natal diagnosis to decide about the pregnancy termination if the fetus is SC genotype, I would suggest getting in touch with a geneticist for counselling and further understanding.

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