What is Sickle Cell Trait?

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 in

People with Sicle Cell trait inherit a normal hemoglobin gene (Hb A) from one parent, and a Sickle hemoglobin gene (Hb S) from the other parent. This results in hemoglobin AS or Sickle Cell trait. A person with Sickle Cell trait may also be called a Sickle Cell carrier.

Sickle Cell trait is not a disease. It does not turn into Sicle Cell Disease/Anemia. It is not contagious. People with Sickle Cell trait are not sick. They can lead normal lives and have minimal medical problems due to Sickle Cell trait. For a few people, painful episodes may occur if they fly in unpressurized planes at high altitudes. Some people with Sickle Cell trait may occasionally have blood in their urine. If these problems occur, a physician should be notified.

Counseling and education regarding the Sickle Cell trait are important because the sickle gene can be passed to any carrier’s children.