a reduction in the quantity of the oxygen-carrying pigment haemoglobin in the blood. The main symptoms are excessive tiredness and fatigability, breathlessness on exertion, pallor, and poor resistance to infection.
There are many causes of anaemia. It may be due to loss of blood (haemorrhagic anaemia), resulting from an accident, operation, etc., or from chronic bleeding, as from an ulcer or haemorrhoids. Iron-deficiency anaemia results from lack of iron, which is necessary for the production of haemoglobin (see sideropenia). Haemolytic anaemias result from the increased destruction of red blood cells (which contain the pigment). This can be caused by toxic chemicals; autoimmunity; the action of parasites, especially in malaria; or conditions such as thalassaemia and sickle-cell disease, associated with abnormal forms of haemoglobin, or spherocytosis, which is associated with abnormal red blood cells. (See also haemolytic disease of the newborn.) Anaemia can also be caused by the impaired production of red blood cells, as in leukaemia (when red-cell production in the bone marrow is suppressed) or pernicious anaemia. Aplastic anaemia is characterized by a failure of blood cell production resulting in pancytopenia and reduced bone marrow cellularity.
Anaemias can be classified on the basis of the size of the red cells, which may be large (macrocytic anaemias), small (microcytic anaemias), or normal-sized (normocytic anaemias). (See also macrocytosis, microcytosis.) The treatment of anaemia depends on the cause.
anaemic adj.

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  • anaemia — anaemia, anaemic, anaemically chiefly Brit var of ANEMIA, ANEMIC, ANEMICALLY * * * n. a reduction in the quantity of the oxygen carrying pigment haemoglobin in the blood. The main symptoms are excessive tiredness and fatigability, breathlessness… …   Medical dictionary

  • Anaemia — A*n[ae] mi*a ([.a]*n[=e] m[i^]*[.a]), a. [NL., fr. Gr. anaimi a; an priv. + a i^ma blood.] (Med.) A morbid condition in which the blood is deficient in quality or in quantity. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Anaemia — vgl. Anämie …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • anaemia — (n.) 1824, from French medical term (1761), Modern Latin, from Gk. anaimia lack of blood, from anaimos bloodless, from an without (see AN (Cf. an ) (1)) + haima blood (see EMIA (Cf. emia)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • anaemia — anaemia, anaemic are spelt ae in BrE and e or ae in AmE …   Modern English usage

  • anaemia — (US anemia) ► NOUN ▪ a shortage of red cells or haemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness. ORIGIN from Greek an without + haima blood …   English terms dictionary

  • anaemia — [ə nē′mē ə] n. alt. sp. of ANEMIA …   English World dictionary

  • anaemia — n. (BE) see anemia 1) to develop anaemia 2) pernicious; sickle cell anaemia * * * [ə niːmɪə] (BE) see anemia pernicious: sickle cell anaemia to develop anaemia …   Combinatory dictionary

  • anaemia — [[t]əni͟ːmiə[/t]] anaemias N UNCOUNT: also N in pl Anaemia is a medical condition in which there are too few red cells in your blood, causing you to feel tired and look pale. She suffered from anaemia and even required blood transfusions. (in AM …   English dictionary

  • anaemia — (= anemia) Reduced level of haemoglobin in blood for any of a variety of reasons including abnormalities of mature red cells (sickle cell anaemia, spherocytosis), iron deficiency, haemolysis of erythrocytes, reduced erythropoiesis, haemorrhage… …   Dictionary of molecular biology

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