SICKLE CELL TRAIT 


Sickle Cell trait is an inherited condition. People who have sickle trait inherit one gene from a parent who has a normal hemoglobin gene (A) and the other from a parent with abnormal hemoglobin gene (S). Sickle cell trait is different from sickle cell disease. People who have sickle cell trait don’t have the disease, but they have one of the genes that cause the disease. People with sickle cell trait can pass the gene to their children. 

 

Sickle Cell Trait Complications: Most people with sickle cell trait do not have any symptoms of sickle cell disease; in rare cases, people with sickle cell trait might experience complications of sickle cell disease, such as pain crises. In their extreme form, and in rare cases, the following conditions could be harmful to people with sickle cell trait:

 

  • Increased pressure in the atmosphere (which can be experienced, for example, while scuba diving).

 

  • Low oxygen levels in the air (which can be experienced, when mountain climbing, exercising extremely hard in military boot camp or training for an athletic competition).

 

  • Dehydration (for example, when one has too little water in the body).

 

  • High altitudes (which can be experienced, when flying, mountain climbing, or visiting a city at a high altitude).

 

Sickle Cell Trait and Athletes 

 

Some people with sickle cell trait have been shown to be more likely than those without sickle cell trait too:

 

  • Experience heat stroke and muscle breakdown when doing intense exercises, such as competitive sports or military training under unfavorable temperatures (very high or low) or conditions.

 

  • Studies have shown that the chance of this problem can be reduced by avoiding dehydration and getting too hot during training.

People with sickle cell trait who participate in competitive or team sports (i.e. student athletes) should be careful when doing training or conditioning activities.

 

To prevent illness it is important to:

 

  • Set your own pace and build your intensity slowly.

 

  • Rest often in between repetitive sets and drills.

 

  • Immediately seek medical care when feeling sick.

 

  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after training and conditioning activities.

 

Keep the body temperature cool when exercising in hot and humid temperatures by misting the body with water or going to an air conditioned area during breaks or rest periods.

 

Recommendations on Screening of Student Athletes for Sickle Cell Trait


How Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Trait is Inherited 
Sickle cell conditions are inherited from parents in much the same way as blood type, hair color and texture, eye color, and other physical traits. The types of hemoglobin a person makes in the red blood cells depend on what hemoglobin genes are inherited from his parents.

 

Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects millions of people throughout the world and is particularly common among those whose ancestors came from sub-Saharan Africa; Spanish-speaking regions in the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean, and Central America); Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

 

  • If one parent has sickle cell trait (SS) and the other has normal (AA) there is a 50% chance of a child having sickle cell trait and an equal 50% chance that the child will not have sickle cell trait.

  • If one parent has sickle cell anemia (SS) and the other has sickle cell trait (AS) there is a 50% chance of a child having sickle cell disease and 50% chance of a child’s having sickle cell trait.

  • When both parents have sickle cell trait (AS) a child has a 25% chance of sickle cell disease.

  • If one parent has sickle cell trait (SS) and the other has normal (AA) there is a 50% chance of a child having sickle cell trait and an equal 50% chance that the child will not have sickle cell trait.

  • If one parent has sickle cell anemia (SS) and the other has sickle cell trait (AS) there is a 50% chance of a child having sickle cell disease and 50% chance of a child’s having sickle cell trait.

  • When both parents have sickle cell trait (AS) a child has a 25% chance of sickle cell disease. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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