Who Is Affected By Sickle Cell Anemia ?

Who Is Affected By Sickle Cell Anemia ?

Sickle cell anemia is a disease that is inherited. It is inherited when the child receives two sickle cell genes, one from each parent. If the child gets one sickle cell gene from one parent and gets normal gene from the other parent, then he is not affected by this disorder.

At the same time he becomes a carrier for this disease and can pass it on to the next generation.

The type of hemoglobin a person makes in the red blood cells depends upon what hemoglobin genes are inherited from the parents. If one parent has sickle cell anemia (SS), and the other parent has sickle cell trait (AS), there is 50 percent chance of the child receiving sickle cell disease (SS) and 50 percent chance of having sickle cell trait (AS). When both the parents have sickle cell trait (AS), there is 25 percent chance of a child having sickle cell disease (SS). Sickle cell anemia is caused by recessive allele and both parents have to contribute sickle cell genes one number each for the child to be affected.

This disorder is genetically passed on to the next generation. There is no other way for a person to get this condition. The prevalence of the disease in United States is about 1 in 5000. This affects mostly African Americans. One in 500 black children and one in 36,000 Hispanic children have sickle cell anemia. 

It was in 1949 that Linus Pauling and colleagues were the first to demonstrate that the sickle cell disease occurs due to abnormality in the hemoglobin molecule. This was the first time that a genetic disease was linked to a mutation of a protein.

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Who Is Affected By Sickle Cell Anemia