1) What is sickle cell disease? Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. People with sickle cell disease have red blood cells that become hard and pointed instead of soft and round. Sickled cells cause anemia, pain, and other complications.
2) How many people have sickle cell disease? Sickle cell disease is a global health problem. It is estimated that over 70,000 people in the United States have sickle cell disease. About 1,000 babies are born with sickle cell each year in America.
3) Do only Blacks have sickle cell disease? No. It also present in Portuguese, Spanish, and people from nthe Mediterranean region. Sickle cell disease also appears in Middle Eastern countries and in Asia. One in 1,000 Hispanics has sickle cell disease in America.
4) Is there a cure for sickle cell disease? At the present time, there is no proven cure for the genetic disorder.
5) What are some of the promising treatments? The use of hydroxyurea has shown promising results on some adult sickle cell patients. It reduces the frequency of severe pain, acute chest syndrome and the need for blood transfusions.