Sickle Cell Anemia | Causes | Life Expectancy | Statistics

sickle cell anemia

What is Sickle Cell Anemia | Symptoms | Causes | Life Expectancy | Prognosis | Mutation | Treatment

What is Sickle Cell Anemia


The normal red blood cells present in your blood are usually the disc-shaped and possesses the capability to turn into the crescent and a sickle shape due to their flexibility. Sickle cell disease can lower the performance of the red blood cell; it is also called as the sickle cell anemia. But, during the sickle cell anemia, these cells turn permanently into the sickle shape; it reduces the blood carrying property of the blood and causes some hurdle in the narrow blood vessels.

Anemia basically originated from the Greek language, means a person without blood. The meaning of the anemia is giving a better understanding of the disease. Everyone what to know what is sickle cell anemia, because the people of all around the world are infected by that.

It is not the disease but a disorder in which results from the abnormal levels of hemoglobin in the blood. The iron-containing pigment called the hemoglobin is the carrier of the oxygen from the lungs to all the tissues of the body, these are performing one of the major works in our body, we can’t afford them to not work well.

If you want to know, what is sickle cell anemia, you should have a better understanding of the hemoglobin and its work. The carrier of this disorder calls the anemic person. If the blood doesn’t have enough amount of the hemoglobin then it is also considered as a type of the anemia.

The roots of the sickle cell anemia can be found in the thalassemia family. It is the most general inherited blood disease. Black Americans and black Africans are the real targets of this disorder.

The rate of getting an infection is higher in the sickle cell anemia carriers, because of the formation of the clog. The sickle-shaped cells can’t live longer than 20 days; therefore you may get the further complication if you don’t treat this disorder well. The Internet is the place where you can get all the information about this disorder and can find a comprehensive answer to “what is sickle cell anemia”.

The blood test known as “CBC” can be useful in diagnosing the sickle cell disease. This test is based on the complete blood cell count, protein iron and the hemoglobin measurement.

A hemoglobin electrophoresis test can measure the different types of hemoglobin in the blood. A sickle cell disease carrier can be suffered from the severe pain attack, the palm the elbows, hands, knee joints, legs, lower and the upper back and the chest are akin to accept the pain by these types of the attacks.

The enlargement in the size of the liver or the spleen can be observed during the attack of this disorder, which can get infected easier than normal circumstances.  You can also feel the severe pain in the liver during this attack.

Causes of Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle-cell disease or the sickle cell anemia is the red blood cell disorder. This disease decreases the flexibility of the cells and results in a risk of different complications.

The mutation in the hemoglobin gene occurs in the case of the sickle blood anemia. 

Causes of sickle cell anemia are not many, as it is the inherited disease, it can transfer to the children by their infected parents.

Life expectancy of the sickle cell disease carrier is shortened then the normal human being. Various studies show that the average life of 42 and 48 years is observed in males and females.

You can’t tell the Causes of sickle cell anemia by knowing the symptoms, but you have to study this disorder completely. The occurrence of this disorder in the United States is approximately 1 in 5,000; mostly affecting peoples is the African Americans, an authenticated research by the National Institutes of Health.

Treatment of the sickle cell disorder is the blood transfusion and the use of the antibiotics to prevent an infection of the internal organs.

The causes of sickle cell anemia are simple to understandit is not the disease but a disorder, inherited by the parents to his or her children. During the severe crisis, you can you the pain relief drugs. Transplants and surgery are also useful to suppress the effects of this disorder.

But for complete eradication of the disease, the bone marrow transplants can help you. The risk involves in the marrow injection and because of the expenses is involved during the whole process restrain people to choose this type of treatment.

One of the major causes of sickle cell anemia is the abnormality in the hemoglobin; it is the main ingredient in the oxygen-carrying. The abnormal hemoglobin S turns the shape of the cell into the sickle and makes them rigid.  The shape of the cells causes the blockage in the narrow vein and makes them tremendously breakable.

The hemoglobin has the three main components, heme, alpha globin, and the beta globin. One of the main causes of sickle cell anemia is the genetic change in the beta-globin component of the hemoglobin.

A strange change in the genetic coding of chromosome 11 causes the sickle cell anemia. Insertion of the unusual amino acid into the beta globin-protein of the hemoglobin molecule causes this disorder. That result in changing the functionality of the hemoglobin. We can call it as the sickle cell gene.

An individual usually has the two copies of the normal red blood cell gene. Both these copies help to create the normal beta globin. The sickle cell trait carrier has one normal cell gene and another sickle cell gene.

Therefore, they tend to produce normal red blood cells as well as the sickle cells in equal proportions. In this case, a carrier will not experience severe health problems. The sickle cell anemia patient will surely have both of the genres as the suckle ones.

Genetics plays a vital role in sickle cell disease and on its symptoms. There are more the 25% chance that the baby has the sickle cell anemia if the mother and the father are carrying the sickle cell trait. Therefore, abnormal genetics is one of the main causes of sickle cell anemia.

As we all know, the importance of the oxygen in over life, the sufficient amount of the oxygen is essential for the proper functioning of the cell. It is the red blood cell which works as the oxygen carrier in our body. When the sickle cell performs this task, after releasing the oxygen to the tissues they turn into the sickle-shaped cells.


Sickle Cell Life Expectancy


The life expectancy of sickle cell anemia is in general affected and is different from that of healthy individuals.

life expectancy of sickle cell anemia

Most case studies note that there are sharp chances of infant mortality through this concern is out shadowed by the higher mortality rates amongst adults afflicted by sickle anemia.

 Sickle cell anemia life expectancy is a dicey issue on which much light has not been shed. Only a few studies have been conducted about sickle cell anemia life expectancy and these have arrived at largely similar conclusions. As sickle cell anemia is most prevalent amongst people of African or sub-African origin, the studies were largely focused on individuals from these ethnic backgrounds.

It can largely be inferred that the sickle cell anemia life expectancy of individuals varies depending on the type of anemia they suffered from. The two types involved here would be sickle cell anemia and the sickle cell hemoglobin-C disease. The number of deaths amongst people afflicted by the latter was comparatively lesser than the count for the former. However, a general trend was that sickle cell anemia life expectancywas at threat once the individual reached 20 years.

Amongst children, the age group in the danger zone was the 1 to 3 category. Mortality dipped drastically once the child passed this age. This shows that effective healthcare, as well as early diagnosis, is crucial at this juncture.

Sickle Cell Anemia Life Expectancy of Children

In general, sickle cell anemia life expectancy of children and teenager is the same as that for normal young adults. The sickle cell anemia life expectancy shows no deviation from the expectancy graph of a normal child.

Also, with the advent of mandatory health screening for all infants, it can be assumed that most anemic cases will be diagnosed well before complications arise and the required treatment will be given accordingly. Due to this, the life expectancy for children with the disease rises up to 85%.

Sickle Cell Anemia Life Expectancy Age Wise

single cell life expectancy in children and adults

The trend and pattern of life expectancy strongly depend on age. For people suffering from sickle cell anemia who have crossed the age of 20, the survival rate of sickle cell anemia drastically decreases compared to a normal adult.

Also, mortality cannot be assigned to a single clinical factor. In general, the sickle cell anemia life expectancy is around twenty to thirty years lesser than normal. Very few patients with sickle cell anemia have survived up to the age of 60. It has been reported that the sickle cell anemia life expectancy also varies depending on the sex of the individual.

Sickle Cell Anemia Life Expectancy Gender Wise

In general, the sickle cell life expectancy of women was much greater than the sickle cell life expectancy of men. The median age for women with the disease was reported to be around 48 years while for men it was around 40 years.

The reason for this variation in life expectancy is immediately not clear. It may perhaps be attributed to the subtle genetic difference between males and females. The difference in lifestyles between males and females (though subtle) may also prove to be a cause.

The high mortality rate and low the survival rate of sickle cell anemia among adults cannot be pinned to a single factor. An immediate cause cannot be associated with the deaths here. In general, two major factors (apart from the general health of the person) may be considered as prime culprits – a high white count and a low fetal hemoglobin level.

Also, it must be noted that the survival rate of sickle cell anemia of an individual who shows no outward symptoms is no different from that of severely afflicted individuals. The sickle cells cause vascular lesions regardless and this can be strongly attributed to the lowered life expectancy.

Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia


Sickle cell anemia affects the red blood cell. This disorder develops due to an abnormal form of the protein in the blood.

Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia

The protein called the hemoglobin turns the red blood cells into shape like the sickles. The sickle-shaped cells are inflexible and having a shorter life span then the normal blood cell. These cells don’t live more than 20 days. They have a tendency to plod together and block the narrow blood vessels. The painful episode is referred as the sickle cell crisis. It is one of the major symptoms of sickle cell anemia.

They clump together and block blood vessels, causing pain and damage to tissues. The painful episode is known as a sickle cell crisis. The frequency of the crises, how much pain you have and how long each crisis lasts varies between the individuals.


Some of the common symptoms of sickle cell anemia

Feeling Tired

Difficulty in Breathing



Overall Pallor




Heart Problems

Hair Loss

More than 12500 people are suffering from sickle cell anemia in the UK.

In the black African and Caribbean descent, this disorder is more common. This disease is found also in the people from the Middle East, eastern Mediterranean, and the Asian background.  

The risk factors in infants, women and the adult in the course of internal bleeding are one of the major symptoms of sickle cell anemia. 


Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia in Infants

We can see the symptoms of sickle cell anemia in infants because of iron deficiency. There is the chance of high blood loss in the woman who is the most prone to become the anemic. Stomach ulcers can cause blood loss in adults. There are natural food and various herbs which are useful in the treatment of the sickle cell anemia. Vitaforce can be found in organic iron, it is very helpful in treating this blood disorder.

Sickle cell anemia is purely an inherited disease. There is a chance of inheriting the defective gene from the parents having these types of genes already. The hemoglobin gene always inherits two copies, one from each of the parents in humans. If both of them have the one pair of the sickle cell infected hemoglobin gene, then there is the chance that their child has both the infected hemoglobin gene and end up having the sickle cell disorder.

The risk of getting this disorder is very low when the child inherits the one healthy gene and one infected one from the parents. There is a chance that the new baby is suffering from the sickle cell trait in this condition. The child has sick genes and can transfer these into his or her child in the future.

Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia in Adults

When it comes to the symptoms of sickle cell anemia, the carrier of this disease will feel the pain in the feet, back, hands and in many other parts of the body. 

The other symptoms are 



If you feel your skin is becoming pale and possesses a yellowish look, then it is the time to see the doctor, because it is one of the major symptoms of sickle cell anemia. 

The pains due to the sickle cell anemia can continuously prolong for hours and become more intense during the night time. You can’t think about to get rid of this disease in days or the week, the curing period of this disorder is long, you just need to suppress the symptoms of this disease. Controlling pain is a major issue.

Sickle Cell Mutation

Sickle Cell Mutation

A healthy individual has two healthy genes in the beta chain of the hemoglobin and two of the healthy genes in the alpha chain, one from each parent.

The HbA is the normal hemoglobin designation, and the “HbA HbA” Is the genotype of the healthy individual. The people having these kinds of the hemoglobin are said to be the norm.

In the sick individual, the sickle cell anemia mutation gene are found in Individuals with sickle cell anemia.

Genotype for this individual can be written as “HbS HbS.”Such persons are called to be homozygous for the sickle cell anemia mutation.

The child can inherit one of the each the beta-hemoglobin gene, in this case, the genotype can be written as “HbA HbS.” Such Individual is known as the carrier of the sickle cell anemia mutation gene or the have the sickle cell trait.

The sickle cell anemia mutation occurs at the lowest level, the red blood cell produces about40% mutant hemoglobin and 60% healthy hemoglobin.

The people with such conditions can lead to a normal life but they can encounter some difficulty when exposed to the low level of oxygen and tension. In these situations, the person should avoid having an extremely strenuous exercise.

The mutation is not beneficial for those individual having both copies of the Sickle cell anemia mutated gene in their cells. Even before reaching the reproductive age they often die.

The individual having the heterozygotes (HbA HbS) receives some sort of benefits. They have greater immunity against malaria, this can’t let them down in any condition. Those people having the sick cell trail possesses greater resistance against malaria. The various researching is going on to recognize the effects of the sickle cell anemia mutation.

The protist Plasmodium falciparum forms the most deadly type of malaria. It enters into the human blood with the help of the mosquito’s biting.

The protist pathogen has the ability to lodge in the human blood, it can increase the PH of the human blood by the 0.4 pH units. In this situation, immune system cells block the deformed red blood cells.

Therefore the protest and also sickled cells are destroyed. It is not possible in this system to offer 100% protection against malaria, but it is very effective in lessening the severity of this disease.

Interestingly, the sickle cell trait carrier women can be more fertile than normal women, the reason is still unidentified. 

Sickle cell anemia mutation can be considered as benefits for the human being. Heterozygotes HbA HbS tend to live longer in the reproductive age and pass on the genes as compared to the HbA homozygotes. They also obtain remarkable protection against malaria.

The Sickle cell anemia mutation is still an undiscovered section. The normal function of the hemoglobin is suppressed and not get improved but on the other hand, the protection from malaria is greater in this case which is just an incidental side benefit.  The pathogen gets to destroy along with the defective cells.

The Sickle cell anemia mutation does not come out with the new level of complication. The functional information is still partially undiscovered along with the novel structural characteristic of the evolution. It is difficult to notice how this kind of genetic change could lead to true evolutionary advancement.


Prognosis of Sickle Cell Anemia

The prognosis of sickle cell anemia is a topic of hot debate in the medical circles.

Prognosis of Sickle Cell Anemia

Over the years the prognosis of sickle cell anemia has greatly improved. But this claim can be evenly disputed as the life expectancy of persons with sickle cell anemia has remained stagnant except in the case of infants.

So, What is the prognosis of Sickle Cell Anemia?

The prognosis of sickle cell anemia, in this text, must be viewed in a historical context rather than with regards to an immediate scenario. On the whole, the prognosis of the disease demographic has greatly improved from the situation seen in the 1900s.

Life expectancy has improved thanks to focussing on early identification and treatment and symptoms have been alleviated largely due to medical advances.

In the 1970’s sickle cell anemia was quite widespread and was deemed to be incurable. While both stated facts still stand, the prognosis for sickle cell anemia has largely become favorable. Over the years, awareness and medical research have shed much light on the dangers of the sickle cells.

While a cure for the disease may be years, or even decades away, modern medicine has managed to ensure that persons afflicted with the disease are able to live an ordinary life, given that they stick to a strict regime of medication.

The prognosis of sickle cell anemia has largely improved due to proper identification of the disease itself. The advent of electron microscopy and advanced medical techniques have ensured that sickle cells themselves have actually been identified as the root cause.

Now, research is afoot to fix these malformed hemoglobin carriers. But majorly, the prognosis of sickle cell anemia has improved vastly because of the ability of modern medicine to address the symptoms of the disease.

Also, identification of the different sources of the disease (as in hemoglobin S) has enabled the medical community to provide customized health care to individual patients. This has greatly helped in turning the tide against the sickle cell disease.

All symptoms of the disease include excessive pain and chest syndrome is addressable through today’s medication. Also, due to the advent of bone marrow transplants, it is now possible to control the disease internally. Transplanted bone marrows will produce blood cells and these will begin to outnumber the sickle cells. This change in proportion largely eases the symptoms of the disease.

The prognosis of sickle cell anemia has also turned favorable because of blood transfusions which, again, cause the same change in the proportion of good cells to sickle cells. Overall, the prognosis for sickle cell anemia has benefited largely from advances in medicine. Now, medications are available to address every type of external disorder which may be linked to sickle cell disease.

However, the prognosis of sickle cell anemia must be seen in compartmented sections. While the symptoms may have been alleviated, the disease itself remains incurable. Also, life expectancy has largely remained unchanged.

Conceded, the average expectancy has shot up to around 40 years but this is not really an achievement by itself. However, there is cause to cheer as the life expectancy of children has increased. This favorable prognosis in children is due to the mandatory screening done to infants after birth.

This has enabled the early identification and treatment of the disease, thereby reducing the infant mortality rate. Also, the prognosis for sickle cell anemia has shown marked improvement in adults with no outward symptoms due to the mentioned advancements in medicine and science.

Treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell anemia is the genetic blood disorder; it targets the hemoglobin in the red blood cell.


It is one of the major ingredients in the red blood cell, without it we can even think to survive. Hemoglobin works as the oxygen carrier from the lungs to all parts of the body.

Hemoglobin A is the normal one which found in the healthy red blood cell. Because of these, the cells remain soft and in the round shape. It creates flexibility in the cells and makes them to pass easily through the narrow blood vessels.

The question, how to treat sickle cell anemia remained unanswered for many years, but now there are different methods by which you can get rid of this problem.

The sickle cell patients have the hemoglobin S instead of the A. Under a suitable circumstance, The S type of hemoglobin can make the blood cells hard and turn their shape into the sickle. The sickle (banana) shape cells have the tendency to block the narrow blood vessels; the patient can then experience the pain, organ damage and even a stroke. 

There are many treatments available to reduce the effect and the compilation in this disorder. There is no cure in some of the cases. Some researchers believe that one can achieve a better result by the marrow transplants.

The proper medical care is vital for the patient of the cell anemia on a daily basis. The objective of treating this disorder is to prevent infections, relieve pain, eye damage, prevent strokes; and also controlling all other complications.


The treatment methods of Sickle Cell Anemia include:

The use of specific medications

Blood Transfusions

Special treatment for the Complications. 

How to treat sickle cell anemia is the sizzling topic around the world, because this disorder is not for a specific area or the race, but it exists among people all around the world. It is the fatal disorder, therefore lots of the people what to know how to treat sickle cell anemia.

Mild painful crises can be managed with treatments such as over-the-counter medicine and heating pads are effective in relieving mild painful crises. 

It is recommended to go to the hospital if you are facing a severe pain. Hospitalizations of many of the people suffering from this disorder are caused by severing painful crises.

The patients can use painkilling medicines and fluids in the case of acute pain crises. The commonly used pain-killing medicines are the nonsteroidal, acetaminophen, narcotics, morphine, oxycodone and many others.

At the beginning of the mild-to-moderate pain, most of the doctors prescribe the use of the acetaminophen. If the patient feels the pain for a longer period of the time, then one can add the narcotic.

Narcotics are the perfect medicines which can be used in the moderate to severe pain. Narcotic have some pain management issues like the abuse and addiction, one must keep in mind while planning the pain control plan.

This is kind of the disease that takes too long to get cured, you can’t even think about the curing process done in the short period, but it will take a lifelong process to get rid of it completely.

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