From Ancient Greek θάλασσα (thálassa, “sea”) (see also thalass-) and -emia (“blood”) (from αἷμα (haîma)). The etymology is suggestive of the epidemiology of the disorder, which is more common in people of Mediterranean descent. First used in 1932.
thalassemia (plural thalassemias)
- (medicine) Any of a group of inherited disorders in which the amount of hemoglobin in the blood is reduced.