noun[mass noun] Medicine
Any of a group of hereditary haemolytic diseases caused by faulty haemoglobin synthesis, widespread in Mediterranean, African, and Asian countries.
- The blood dyscrasias that most commonly lead to leg ulceration are sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, thrombocythaemia, and polycythaemia rubra vera.
- Bone marrow transplantation may be considered in some cases of sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and aplastic anemia.
- In recent years, sickle cell disease and thalassaemia, both conditions largely confined to ethnic minorities, have gained increasing recognition by the white dominated health services in the United Kingdom.
1930s: from Greek thalassa 'sea' (because the diseases were first known around the Mediterranean) + -aemia.
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