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Difference Between Sickle Cell Anemia and Sickle Trait

Sickle Cell Anemia vs Sickle Trait

Blood dyscracias and blood disorders occur in a small percentage of the population. Some survive it while most die because of it. Some blood disorders are manageable and easy to treat while some require tedious therapies such as chemotherapy for cancers of the blood such as leukemia.

Regarding the manageable one, sickle cell anemia is one of the blood disorders that can be managed. There is also what you call “sickle trait.” What can be the differences? Let us try to tackle and differentiate between them both.

Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disease in which the affected component of the blood is the red blood cells. It affects a lot of races, such as Americans, particularly African-Americans. There are also Asians, Arabians, Indians, Mediterranean, and South Americans who are affected by this disease.

Sickle cell trait, on the other hand, is the condition in which the carrier carries the trait of having the defective gene. This means that the carrier has one abnormal gene and one normal gene. The abnormal gene is for the sickled hemoglobin while the normal gene is for the normal hemoglobin. A saddening truth is that one in ten Africans are carriers of sickle cell trait. Carriers are usually safe in this disease, but once they have transferred it, the next carrier will have abnormal RBCs or red blood cells.

In sickle cell anemia, the RBCs become sickle-shaped. Sickle-shaped is similar to a crescent moon. Normal red blood cells are usually round, smooth, and soft. They can also easily transport themselves inside the body. However, in sickled cell anemia, the shape of the RBCs are sickle-shaped. The cells stick together and are rigid. When sickling happens, there is an inadequate delivery of oxygen in the body and anemia occurs. Other symptoms include fatigue and difficulty in breathing.

Sickle cell trait carriers can have one in every four children who will have sickle cell anemia in the future, or that is a 25 per cent chance. The other 25 per cent will have normal hemoglobin while the other 50 per cent can be carriers of the disease. This percentage will occur if both parents are carriers of sickle cell trait.


1.Sickle cell anemia is a disease while sickle cell trait is an abnormality in the gene.
2.Sickle cell anemia occurs for those who have an abnormality in the hemoglobin genes while the carriers of sickle cell trait will not get the disease since they are only carriers.
3.One in every four children will get sickle cell anemia if both parents are carriers.

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