Sickle Cell Disease affects millions of people worldwide. It’s most common in people whose families come from Africa, South or Central America (especially Panama), Caribbean islands, Mediterranean countries (such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy), India, and Saudi Arabia. In the United States, sickle cell disease affects about 70,000 people. It mainly affects African Americans, with the condition occurring in about 1 in every 500 African American births. Hispanic Americans also are affected; the condition occurs in 1 out of every 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic American births. About 2 million Americans have sickle cell trait. About 1 in 12 African Americans has sickle cell trait.
The signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease are different in each person. Some people have mild symptoms. Others have very severe symptoms and are often hospitalized for treatment. Although sickle cell disease is present at birth, many infants don’t show any signs until after 4 months of age. The most common signs and symptoms are linked to and pain. Other signs and symptoms are linked to some of the complications of the condition.
It is an inherited disorder that affects red blood cells that become hard and pointed rather than the normal soft and round. Sickled cells cause anemia, pain, and many other complications.
It is the inherited gene for sickle cell disease. Having the trait does not mean you will get the disease. A man and a woman who have sickle cell trait may produce a child with sickle cell disease. About 2.5 million people in America carry the sickle cell trait.
It’s estimated that more than 80, 000 people in the U.S. have sickle cell disease. About 1,000 U.S. babies are born with the disease each year.