Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Anemia is a genetic condition that affects the shape of red blood cells.  Instead of being shaped like a disc, or doughnut, a person with sickle cell anemia has red blood cells that are crescent shaped, or “sickled.”  The crescent shaped cells are sticky and stiff, and can become lodged in a blood vessel causing damage.   The signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia vary, but most commonly involve anemia, pain, and an increased susceptibility to infection.

What is it like to live with Sickle Cell disease?

Did you know that according to the Sickle Cell Association of America, approximately 100,000 Americans and millions worldwide are living with
Sickle Cell Anemia? Find out if your future children are at risk by requesting a screening kit today.
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Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

How is Sickle Cell Anemia inherited?

A person inherits sickle cell disease from both of their parents, who are typically healthy carriers.  When two carriers for the same condition have a child, there is a 25% risk with each pregnancy that the child will have the condition.

Who is at risk to be a carrier?

All people are at risk to be a carrier for Sickle Cell disease. Your risk depends on your ethnicity. One in 11 people with African American ancestry are carriers, while people with European background have a lower risk of about 1 in 50.  Sickle cell disease is also most common in people with ancestors from Africa, South and Central America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, India and Saudia Arabia.

How can I learn if my children might have Sickle Cell Anemia?

Carrier screening on saliva through JScreen can tell you if you are at risk.  Testing is done privately at home on saliva.  The cost is $99 for those with private insurance and for many states, Medicaid is accepted.  A genetic counselor will explain your results to you.    Request your kit

When should I have screening?

The best time to be screened is before pregnancy.

What can I do if I learn that my children are at risk?

Knowing in advance allows you to plan for the possibility of having a child with sickle cell anemia.  A genetic counselor will explain your options, and guide you to the right resources for your situation.

Where can I learn more?

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Request your kit