Complete blood count is the most common test to detect anemia, but it is unable to obtain the abnormal shape of erythrocytes, which highly correlates with the hematologic function. Tomographic diffractive microscopy (TDM) is an emerging technique capable of quantifying three-dimensional (3-D) refractive index (RI) distributions of erythrocytes without labeling. TDM was used to characterize optical and morphological properties of 172 erythrocytes from healthy volunteers and 419 erythrocytes from thalassemic patients. To efficiently extract and analyze the properties of erythrocytes, we developed an adaptive region-growing method for automatically delineating erythrocytes from 3-D RI maps. The thalassemic erythrocytes not only contained lower hemoglobin content but also showed doughnut shape and significantly lower volume, surface area, effective radius, and average thickness. A multi-indices prediction model achieved perfect accuracy of diagnosing thalassemia using four features, including the optical volume, surface-area-to-volume ratio, sphericity index, and surface area. The results demonstrate the ability of TDM to provide quantitative, hematologic measurements and to assess morphological features of erythrocytes to distinguish healthy and thalassemic erythrocytes.