About sickle cell disease
■ About 100,000 Americans suffer from sickle cell disease, although millions around the world have it, according to estimates from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
■ The sickle shape of red blood cells caused by sickle cell disease die earlier and can get clogged in small blood vessels.
■ Women with sickle cell disease tend to have more problems with pregnancy, including pain episodes and increased risk of delivering a premature or low birth-weight baby.
■ Most people with sickle cell disease start showing symptoms at about 5 months old. The only sure solution is a bone transplant, which can have complications and may lead to death, although there is medication that can alleviate or reduce complications of the disease.
■ Mortality rates for children with sickle cell are down significantly, and the average life expectancy of someone with sickle cell is 42 years for males and 48 years for females, according to a report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.