What Is SCD

What is Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

Sickled Cell

Sickle cell disease (also called Sickle cell anemia) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders.

  • Healthy red blood cells are round and they move through small blood vessels carrying oxygen to all parts of the body.
  • In SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”.
  • Sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells.
  • Sickle cells can get stuck in small blood vessels and block the flow of blood and oxygen to organs in the body. These blockages cause repeated episodes of severe pain, organ damage, serious infections, or even stroke.

 

Types of Sickle Cell Disease

HbSS: People who have this form of SCD inherit two sickle cell genes (“S”), one from each parent. This is commonly called sickle cell anemia and is usually the most severe form of the disease.

HbSC: People who have this form of SCD inherit a sickle cell gene (“S”) from one parent and from the other parent a gene for an abnormal hemoglobin called “C”. Hemoglobin is a protein that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. This is usually a milder form of SCD.

Hb-S beta thalassemia: People who have this form of SCD inherit one sickle cell gene (“S”) from one parent and one gene for beta thalassemia, another type of anemia, from the other parent. There are two types of beta thalassemia: “0” and “+”. Those with HbS beta 0-thalassemia usually have a severe form of SCD. People with HbS beta +-thalassemia tend to have a milder form of SCD.

There also are a few rare types of SCD: HbSD, HbSE, and HbSO
People who have these forms of SCD inherit one sickle cell gene (“S”) and one gene from an abnormal type of hemoglobin (“D”, “E”, or “O”). Hemoglobin is a protein that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. The severity of these rarer types of SCD varies.

Source: www.cdc.gov

 

What Causes Sickle Cell Disease?

  • SCD is inherited in the same way that people get the color of their eyes, skin, and hair.
  • A person with SCD is born with it.
  • People cannot catch SCD from being around a person who has it.

 

Who Is Affected By Sickle Cell Disease?

  • It is estimated that SCD affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States, mainly Blacks or African Americans.
  • The disease occurs among about 1 of every 500 Black or African-American births and among about 1 out of every 36,000 Hispanic-American births.
  • SCD affects millions of people throughout the world and is particularly common among those whose ancestors come from sub-Saharan Africa; regions in the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean, and Central America); Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

Source: CDC Fact PDF

Sickle Cell Anemia Sickle Cell Anemia

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