Epidemiology

The sickle cell trait offers genetic protection against Plasmodium falciparum, which is endemic in West Africa. Due to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and subsequent global migration, the trait has been distributed throughout the Western hemisphere. Sickle cell anemia affects up to 8% of African Americans. The majority of these patients have sickle cell trait. Sickle cell disease affects approximately 0.2% of African Americans. The prevalence of sickle cell disease in non-African Americans is approximately 0.08% (10,11).

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