SCD is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States and Africa particularly among the 'black or African American' race even though it affects people from Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean backgrounds.
By now, we know there is a lot of information on sickle cell, such as its symptoms, causes, complications and treatments but are there some facts we still do not know about the disease? Are there any common or uncommon details that still require research and explanation? Perhaps, but there are 5 facts I personally didn't know and only recently discovered about sickle cell anemia:
Fact 1: Not only is it the most common blood disorder in the U.S, it is also one of the most common genetic disorders in the world. Each year 500,000 babies are born worldwide with it and at least 1,000 of them are born in the United States.
Fact 2: SCD entered the U.S via transatlantic slave trade and wherever else Africans have migrated. Today, the disease is found in almost every part of the world.
Fact 3: Adult sickle cell patients still appear to live about 20 years less than non-sickle cell patients. The most common causes of death being bacterial infection, stroke or bleeding into the brain and organ failure.
Fact 4: Only 1 in 10 kids are able to find a healthy donor ( usually a sibling) for the only option that offers any promise of a cure which is the bone marrow transplant. Most patients do not have such donors which means that for the children who are prone to strokes and chronic pain, benefiting from this cure is not an option for them.
Fact 5: Sometimes one can develop sickle cell anemia later in life. This condition is known as hemolytic anemia and it is caused when red blood cells are destroyed faster than the bone marrow can replace them.
Are there any facts about SCD that you didn't know prior but only just discovered? Comment below
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