thal·​as·​se·​mia | \ ˌtha-lə-ˈsē-mē-ə How to pronounce thalassemia (audio) \

Definition of thalassemia

: any of a group of inherited disorders of hemoglobin synthesis (such as Cooley's anemia) that are marked by mild to severe hypochromic and microcytic anemia, result from the partial or complete failure in production of one or more globin chains, and tend to occur especially in individuals of Mediterranean, African, or southeastern Asian ancestry sometimes used with a prefix (such as alpha-, beta-, or delta-) to indicate the hemoglobin chain affected — see beta-thalassemia

Other Words from thalassemia

thalassemic \ ˌtha-​lə-​ˈsē-​mik How to pronounce thalassemia (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of thalassemia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One early-phase clinical trial employed an ex vivo gene-editing method to treat people with sickle cell disease or with a related blood disorder called beta thalassemia. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, 18 Oct. 2021 More than a year later those improvements persisted in five subjects with beta thalassemia and two with sickle cell. Jim Daley, Scientific American, 18 Oct. 2021 The most promising targets include treatments for severe kidney and liver conditions, blood ailments such as sickle cell anemia and beta thalassemia, Type 1 diabetes, and pain., 11 Oct. 2021 With potentially more than $2 billion pouring into two partnerships, Vertex is pushing ahead in its race with Cambridge biotech bluebird bio to bring the first a cure for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia to the market., 24 Aug. 2021 Southeast Asia also has some of the world’s highest rates of thalassemia, a genetic disorder that hampers the blood’s ability to transport oxygen, and has contributed to some child deaths. New York Times, 14 Aug. 2021 Usually, beta thalassemia patients depend on regular blood transfusions, while sickle cell disease patients experience vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs). Trefis Team, Forbes, 17 Nov. 2020 The therapy, jointly developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics, is designed to treat sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia by boosting the body’s production of hemoglobin. Damian Garde, STAT, 12 June 2021 Sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia interfere with how hemoglobin carries oxygen in the body, and usually considerably shorten the lives of patients who have them., 20 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thalassemia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of thalassemia

1932, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thalassemia

New Latin, from Greek thalassa sea + New Latin -emia

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The first known use of thalassemia was in 1932

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thalassemia major

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Last Updated

7 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thalassemia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for thalassemia


variants: or British thalassaemia \ ˌthal-​ə-​ˈsē-​mē-​ə How to pronounce thalassemia (audio) \

Medical Definition of thalassemia

: any of a group of inherited hypochromic anemias and especially Cooley's anemia controlled by a series of allelic genes that cause reduction in or failure of synthesis of one of the globin chains making up hemoglobin and that tend to occur especially in individuals of Mediterranean, African, or southeastern Asian ancestry sometimes used with a prefix (as alpha-, beta-, or delta-) to indicate the hemoglobin chain affected

called also Mediterranean anemia

— see alpha-thalassemia, beta-thalassemia

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