Discover hereditary angioedema
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disorder. In fact, it's thought that only 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people in the entire world have HAE. And it's estimated that only 6,000 people in the United States live with HAE.
HAE can cause attacks of painful, disabling swelling in any part of the body, but characteristic locations include:
It's important to remember that an HAE attack that affects the throat is potentially life-threatening, because it puts you at risk of suffocation. Make sure you have a plan in place for this type of attack and seek emergency care as soon as possible.
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Types of HAE
There are two main types of HAE. They have similar symptoms but result from different genetic mutations.
- Type I HAE is most common. People with this type of HAE do not make enough C1 esterase inhibitor.
- Type II HAE happens in people who produce normal levels of C1 esterase inhibitor, but the protein doesn’t work the way it should.
A third type of HAE has also been identified. This type of HAE has similar symptoms to HAE type I and II. However, these patients have normal levels of functional C1 esterase inhibitor.