Sickle Of Sickle Cell Disease Essay

1386 Words Nov 28th, 2016 6 Pages
Sickle Cell Disease
Throughout the world, approximately 300 million individuals are heterozygous for a mutation in the β-globin gene, meaning they carry the sickle cell trait (Key, Connes, & Derebail, 2015). Of those 300 million individuals, 100,000 Americans are affected by sickle cell disease, making it the most common inherited blood disorder. Every single cell in our body needs oxygen to function efficiently, and the role of hemoglobin in red blood cells is to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body (“Sickle Cell Disease”, 2016). In a normal individual, the red blood cells have a disc-like shape that grant it flexibility and allow it to move through the smallest of vessels. However, as the name suggests, individuals with sickle cell disease have abnormal hemoglobin in the red blood cells that cause it to take up the shape of a sickle (“Learning About Sickle Cell Disease”, 2016). The problem with these sickle-shaped blood cells is that they can block and stop blood flow in vessels, and eventually restrict oxygen from reaching cells and tissues. The disease is prevalent in African Americans, with one in twelve individuals carrying the sickle cell trait and one in 365 actually having the disease (“Who is at Risk for Sickle Cell Disease?”, 2016). The disease is also common in the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, and India, where malaria was or still is common (Key, Connes, & Derebail, 2015). Today, the life expectancy for an individual with sickle cell…

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