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What increases my risk for sickle cell anemia?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Because sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease, genetics are the only thing that may increase your risk. In the United States, 10 percent of African Americans are carriers. People of Spanish, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean descent commonly carry the sickle cell anemia trait as well. However, carriers rarely experience symptoms, if at all. This is because it takes the genes of two carriers to cause the genetic mutation that causes sickle cell anemia to develop.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.