• Sickle Cell Anemia

  • Who it Affects

Who does sickle cell anemia affect?

Sickle cell anemia is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States. More than 100,000 Americans suffer from sickle cell anemia while about 2 million people in the US are carriers for the disease.

Because the sickle cell trait provides protection against malaria, high rates of carrier frequency are found in zones with high malaria incidence. Therefore sickle cell carrier frequencies are highest in Africa, parts of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia. It is estimated that 15 million Africans suffer from sickle cell disease.

If you and/or your spouse suffers from or is a known carrier for sickle cell anemia, use this interactive Punnett Square document to see what chance your child will have of being affected by the disease. Recall that a genotype is the combination of two “alleles” or genes for a particular trait, one from each parent. Note that “aa” (both lowercase) indicates that the parent has sickle cell disease, “Aa” denotes a carrier for the disease, which means that the parent is not affected by the disease but could pass it on to his or her children, and “AA” means that the parent is not affected by the disease and cannot pass it on to children.