Thalassemia (American English) (or Thalassaemia in British English) is an inherited disease of the red blood cells, classified as a hemoglobinopathy. The genetic defect results in synthesis of an abnormal hemoglobin molecule. The blood cells are vulnerable to mechanical injury and die easily. To survive, many people with thalassaemia need blood transfusions at regular intervals. more...
The disease's geographical association with the Mediterranean sea was responsible for its naming: Thalassa is Greek for the sea. Thalassemia occurs in all populations and ethnic groups, however the prevalence differs among different populations.
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