Do white people carry sickle cell TRAIT not sickle cell disease?
Yes, people who are "White" can carry sickle cell trait. Sickle cell diseases are actually a broad group of hemoglobinopathies (genetic blood disorders) that affect over 250 million people around the world, including people in Africa, North & South America, the Mediterranean and Middle East, South Asia, and Europe. Sickle cell trait is not a disease or illness - it is merely a descriptive term that indicates a person has inherited on "normal" hemoglobin gene (Hb A) and another "abnormal" hemoglobin gene (Hb S). Some individuals with sickle cell trait are at increased risk for sudden death if they are dehydrated or exposed to high altitudes, but this occurs rarely. If two individuals who have sickle cell trait (Hb AS) mate, then there is a 25% chance with each birth that they will have a child with sickle cell anemia (Hb SS); a 25% chance that they will have a child with normal hemoglobin (Hb AA); and a 50% chance that they will have a child with sickle cell trait. Sickle cell trait occurs in approximately 1 in 12 African Americans; 1 in 1400 Hispanics, and nearly 1 in 100,000 Whites.