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Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle Cell Anemia Traits

02/27/2008

Question:

Can a man with sickle cell anemia have children without passing it on to them?

Answer:

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.

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Response by:

Anthony D Villella, MD Anthony D Villella, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University