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Diathesis (plural: diatheses) is a term used to describe a state in which there is an increased chance of something happening. Contemporaneously, the word is used as a synonym for the word predisposition; however the term predates a modern understanding of genetics or pathology 1.
Most commonly the term is now seen used to describe 'bleeding diatheses', which implies certain conditions with an increased risk of hemorrhage in particular patients, e.g. due to coagulopathy.
- 1. Ackerknecht EH. Diathesis: the word and the concept in medical history. (1982) Bulletin of the history of medicine. 56 (3): 317-25. Pubmed