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Sickle Cell Disease, Sickle Cell Trait Are Not the Same
Date:12/28/2012

S., a lot of the sickle cell trait we're seeing is not just in the African American population, but also in the Southeast Asian population, the Mediterranean population and in people coming from Jamaica," Peddinti said. "This is a worldwide disease."

Today, newborns are routinely screened for sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait. Peddinti said that parents are always told if a child has either and that the information should be passed on to the child at some point. The knowledge becomes especially important when people are going to have children of their own because if two parents with the sickle cell trait have a child, there's a 50 percent chance that their offspring will have sickle cell disease.

A simple blood test can determine sickle cell trait status for anyone who doesn't know it, and the test is available at most hospitals, according to the CDC. Usually, a genetic counselor explains the results, including what the implications for your family might be.

More information

For a look at the debate over sickle cell trait screening, click here.

SOURCE: Radhika Peddinti, M.D., pediatric hematologist, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Chicago


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