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Sickle Cell Anemia

Causes And Symptoms

Sickle cell anemia results from an inheritance of the sickle cell trait—that is, a defective beta-globin gene—from each parent. Due to this inheritance, hemoglobin S is produced. This hemoglobin has a tendency to aggregate and form strands, thereby deforming the red blood cells in which it is contained. The deformed, short-lived red blood cells cause effects throughout the body.

Symptoms typically appear during the first year or two of life, if the diagnosis has not been made at or before birth. However, some individuals do not develop symptoms until adulthood and may not be aware that they have the genetic inheritance for sickle cell anemia.


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