Did You Know?
* In 1958, Sickle cell anemia was shown to occur due to a change of a single amino acid
One in every ten African-Americans has sickle cell trait,
and one in five-hundred has sickle cell disease.
One in every 100 Hispanic-Americans has sickle cell
trait, and 1 in 1000-1400 has sickle cell disease.
In the United States, approximately 100,000 people have
sickle cell disease, and 2 million people have sickle cell
Sickle cell disease is thought to have developed in areas
of the world where malaria is present, because sickle
cell trait provides some protection from malaria.
People are born with sickle cell disease; it does
not develop in adulthood, and it is not contagious.
Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder that is passed
down from parent to child. To have the disease, both
sets of parents must carry what is known as the sickle
cell trait. If both parents have this trait, there is a 25
percent chance that their child will have sickle cell
disease. In the United States, as many as two million
people carry this trait.
Patients with sickle cell disease require
comprehensive care. Since sickle cell disease is a
chronic illness that affects many systems in the body,
it is essential that children and adults have a system of
care that includes primary care physicians,
hematologists, pediatricians and social workers. “A lot
of day-to-day care can be done by a generalist,” says
Dr. George Buchanan, professor of pediatrics at UT
Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. “But it is
important to have a team of experts who work
together and are in ongoing consultation with a large
institution or center that specializes in sickle cell