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Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle Cell Anemia is the most common hematologic hereditary disorder know
toman. It is a condition where the red blood cells (RBC) sometimes assume a
strange,sickleÃÂ©like shape. Observations date back to Herrick in 1910, but the
molecularera for the study of Sickle Cell Anemia did not begin until the identification
ofHemoglobin S (Hb S), by Linus Pauling in 1949. It is a worldÃÂ©health
problempredominantly affecting Negroes in the Untied States and Africa, and
sometimesLatins. 50% of those with Sickle Cell Anemia die before age 20, and most do
notlive to reach age 40.
Normal Red Blood Cells are shaped similar to donuts, and pass easily throughthe
blood stream to carry Oxygen to ALL parts of the body. Sickle cells, because ofthere odd
shape, do not easily pass through the blood vessels and tend to clog them,because of this,
internal organs may not receive enough oxygen.
I in 10 AfricanÃÂ©Americans carry the gene, and about 1 in 400
AfricanÃÂ©Americanchildren carry Sickle Cell Anemia.
If a person is hybrid for the disease, they are said to have the sickle cell'trait'.
Their cells can be made to sickle in a test tube, and under extremeconditions of exercise,
and at high altitudes. This is rare and seldom serious,most people with the trait live full,
normal lives. The trait can never turn intothe anemia.
About 50% of the children of to parents who both have the trait will also havethe
trait. About 25% will be born with the anemia, and about 25% will not beaffected by
| | | | A=Anemia
o o o o N=Not Affected
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Sickle Cell Anemia...