What is sickle cell disease (SCD)?
- Sickle cell disease refers to a group of inherited diseases that are characterized by the presence of abnormal, “sickle” hemoglobin and that are capable of producing vaso-occlusive complications.
Who is affected by sickle cell disease?
- Sickle cell disease is found throughout the world. In addition to the United States, it is frequently found in parts of Africa, the Middle East, India and the Mediterranean region.
- In the United States, sickle cell disease predominantly affects individuals of African descent and Latinos.
- Approximately 1 out of every 400 African-Americans has sickle cell disease.
- Roughly 80,000 people with sickle cell disease live in the United States
- Each year in North Carolina, over 100 infants are born with sickle cell disease.
What are the characteristics of sickle cell disease?
- The most common features of sickle cell disease are fatigue and acute painful episodes.
- Sickle cell disease can affect virtually every organ in the body
- Despite the presence of this disorder, many individuals with sickle cell disease are able to lead full, happy and productive lives
What can be done for sickle cell disease?
- Whenever possible, individuals with sickle cell disease should receive medical care from healthcare providers who understand the disease and who are experts in its management.