Sickle-cell anemia

Overview

What is the usual abbreviation for sickle cell anemia?

Abbreviations for sickle cell anemia include:

  • SCA
  • Hb S disease
  • Hb SS disease
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What is sickle cell anemia?

Are there other names for sickle cell anemia?

How common is sickle cell anemia?

What is sickle cell anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder. Sickle cell anemia is caused by changes in the gene that helps make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to different parts of the body. People with sickle cell anemia have abnormal hemoglobin, causing their red blood cells to be shaped abnormally, sometimes looking like a sickle, or crescent-moon shape. These abnormal red blood cells don't flow as easily through the blood vessels, causing the flow of blood to slow or stop. This means that oxygenated blood doesn't get to different tissues in the body as well, leading to symptoms such as pain and organ damage. Additionally, because the blood cells are abnormal and become damaged over time, they are broken down more quickly than normal blood cells. This leads to anemia (low red blood cell counts), which can cause fatigue, or low levels of energy.

Are there other names for sickle cell anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is also known as:

  • Hemoglobin S disease
  • Hemoglobin SS disease
  • Sickle cell disorder
  • Sickling disorder due to hemoglobin S

It should be noted that the term "sickle cell disease" is not interchangeable with the term "sickle cell anemia". "Sickle cell disease" refers to a group of disorders including sickle cell anemia, as well as other disorders where an individual has one copy of the sickle cell gene and another abnormal gene, such as hemoglobin C or beta-thalassemia trait. Individuals who have one sickle cell gene paired with another abnormal beta-globin gene do not have sickle cell anemia, but have a type of sickle cell disease that can include sickle-hemoglobin C and hemoglobin S-beta thalassemia. The features of these other forms of sickle cell disease do overlap somewhat with sickle cell anemia, but they are distinct disorders and should be considered as such. Sickle cell anemia is the most common form of sickle cell disease, comprising 60-70% of all cases of sickle cell disease.

How common is sickle cell anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S. It affects up to 100,000 people in the U.S. and hundreds of thousands worldwide. It is most common in individuals with African, Asian Indian, Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian or Mediterranean ancestry, but can affect people of any ethnic background.

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