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Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Sickle Cell Anemia
Can I Pass Sickle Cells to My Kids?
Can a man with sickle cell anemia have children without passing it on to them?
Yes. If his partner does not have the sickle cell trait, then all of his children will only have sickle trait. If his partner has the sickle trait, then there is a 50% chance of sickle disease and a 50% of sickle trait. If his partner also has sickle disease, then all of the children will also have sickle disease. This is because everyone has 2 copies of every gene including the gene that causes sickle cell. With one abnormal gene, the person has sickle trait and with 2 abnormal genes, the person has sickle cell disease. It is therefore important to know if your partner has sickle trait or not. Sickle trait does not cause any problems, so a simple blood test must be done to know for sure.
Anthony D Villella, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University