Sickle Cell Disease ( Anemia ) Essay

1592 Words Nov 9th, 2016 7 Pages
Sickle Cell Disease (Anemia) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by a mutation in hemoglobin. Rather than the common disc shape of red blood cells, this disease causes the cells to form in a crescent shape, leaving them fragile and apt to break or clot in small blood vessels, thereby slowing or blocking blood flow. This prevents oxygen from circulating the body properly. As with all autosomal recessive genes, both parents must be carriers in order for their offspring to get the disease. While “many people erroneously think that it is limited to African-Americans,” it is also common amongst people whose ancestors came from South America, Cuba, Central America, Saudi Arabia, India, and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece and Italy.
The average age of survival for sickle cell disease used to be 14 years old, “with 20 percent of the deaths occurring in the first 2 years of life, one third occurring before the fifth year of life, half between 5 and 40 years of age, and one sixth after the age of 30.” As a result, sickle cell disease was known as a child’s disease, as “the mortality is high and relatively few patients reach adult life, even when the standard of medical care is high.” Since the 1960s, the life expectancy for those with this disease has increased significantly. Today, the average life expectancy for those with this disease is 42 years old for males and 48 years old for females.
Often autosomal dominant genes are prevalent in certain…

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