n. an inherited defect in the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase causing the red blood cells to become sensitive to a chemical in fava beans (broad beans). Eating these beans results in destruction of red blood cells (haemolysis), which may lead to severe anaemia, requiring blood transfusion. Favism occurs most commonly in the Mediterranean and Middle East. See also glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.
Subjects: Medicine and Health — Science and Mathematics.