Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – Sickle cell anemia is a lifelong blood disorder that directly affects the circulatory system and is characterized by C-shaped blood cells. The human body normally produces red blood cells that are disc-shaped. In order to pass through the blood vessels, the cells have to be soft and elastic. However, when infected with sickle cell, the blood cells become sticky, rigid, and fragile.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African-American children with sickle cell disease are at a higher risk of intellectual disabilities, hearing and vision deficits and frequent severe headaches. The study also stated that children who have inherited the disease are at least four times more likely than children without the disease to have fair or poor health status.
The disease, which is inherited at birth, occurs when a child receives one sickle cell gene from each parent. Research has shown that the sickle cell trait affects about one in every 350 black children and can be found in one in 12 African-American adults. Even though there is no cure available for sickle cell, there are treatments that help relieve symptoms and treat complications associated with the disease. Proper treatment will result in pain relief, prevention of infections, and maybe also control complications.
For more information on sickle cell disease, visit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. at www.sicklecelldisease.org.