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What is sickle cell trait and anemia?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
8 doctors agree

In brief: Genes

Sickle cell anemia occurs when someone has 2 sickle cell genes.
Normal hemoglobin (hb) genes code for hb a. A sickle cell gene codes for hb s. Having 1 hb a gene & 1 hb s gene leads to sickle trait. This will have no symptoms, but has some health consequences. 2 genes for hb s leads to sickle cell anemia. To make things more complicated, there are other abnormal hb genes that can cause problems.

In brief: Genes

Sickle cell anemia occurs when someone has 2 sickle cell genes.
Normal hemoglobin (hb) genes code for hb a. A sickle cell gene codes for hb s. Having 1 hb a gene & 1 hb s gene leads to sickle trait. This will have no symptoms, but has some health consequences. 2 genes for hb s leads to sickle cell anemia. To make things more complicated, there are other abnormal hb genes that can cause problems.
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
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