From Ancient Greek θάλασσα (thálassa, “sea”) (see also thalass-) and -emia (“blood”) (from αἷμα (haîma)). The etymology indicates the epidemiology of the disorder in that it commonly occurs in patients of Mediterranean descent. The term was 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