Sickle Cell Disease

September 11, 2019

September is Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month—a good opportunity to provide statistics about this deadly disease.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic disorder in which patients have deformed red blood cells (known as sickle cells). These cells die earlier than normal, healthy blood cells, causing a red blood cell deficiency.

What are the symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease?

The following are common symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease:

  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Yellow skin and/or eyes


While Sickle Cell Disease is largely untreatable, there are a number of ways to manage the disease effectively. These include:

  • Bone-marrow transplant
  • Blood transfusion
  • Painkillers – especially

Useful Statistics

  • Sickle cell disease affects 100,000 Americans
  • 1 in 12 African-Americans carry the sickle cell gene
  • Sickle cell disease is an inherited form of anemia
  • Both parents must have the gene in order for a child to be born with sickle cell disease
  • Sickle cell disease occurs in roughly 1 out of 365 African American childbirths