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If you inherit only one sickle hemoglobin gene from a parent you will carry the sickle cell trait. While the trait was once thought to be innocuous, in recent years more has been learned about carriers. People with the trait are more likely to suffer from conditions such as urinary tract infections or blood in the urine. Even athletes with sickle cell trait are now advised to take special precautions.

sickle cell


Sickle Cell Trait Facts

  • In some people the red blood cells can take on the shape of a farmer’s sickle.


  • If you are born with this gene from one parent you have SICKLE CELL TRAIT.


  • If you are born with this gene from both parents you have SICKLE CELL DISEASE.


  • A person with sickle cell DISEASE has sickle cells in the blood stream which can cause health problems Such as pain, infection and anemia.


  • A person with sickle cell TRAIT does not have sickle cells in the blood stream and does not have a disease. They're considered to be a carrier.


  • If both parents have sickle cell TRAIT, each time a child is born there is a 25% (1 in 4) chance the child will have sickle cell DISEASE. This doesn't mean that if you have four children, one of them will have a chance of being born with sickle cell disease. It means that each child has a 25% chance of being born with the disease.


  • There are two other fairly common traits that can also result in having a child with sickle cell disease: hemoglobin C trait and thalassemia trait.

  • Since you do not get sick from any of these traits, you may have one of them and not know it.


  • People of childbearing age should know if they have any of these traits so that they can make informed decisions regarding family planning.

Know your trait status!

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View and download the full infographic here.

SCDAA-MI offers free testing for sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease at its office: 18516 James Couzens Fwy, Detroit, MI 48235. Appointments and walk-ins are welcome.


Call or contact us for more information. 

sickle-cell-inheritance-pattern_ cdc.jpg
More info on the CDC's sickle cell trait site.
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Learn more about the NCAA and sickle cell trait

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