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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 SICKLE CELL DISEASE STATISTICS The disease affects about 70,000-80,000 Americans (although 2.5 million Americansare carriers of the trait), and occurs every 1/500African Americans and 1/1200 Hispanic Americans All You Need To Know HISTORY Sickle cell disease was discovered when a man named Walter Clement Noel came to Dr.James B. Herrick (and his assistant Dr. EarnestIrons) with complaints of pain. After lookinginto the case, Dr. Irons found that Walter's bloodcells took the shape of a "sickle". In 1951, Dr. Linus Pauling and his colleague Dr. Harvey Itano discovered that the red, oxygen-carrying protein called hemoglobin had a different chemical structure in people with Sickle Cell Disease than in people without it. What is it? Symptoms include shortness of breath, acute chest syndrome, fatigue, infection,and even jaundice. Sometimes, the sickled red blood cells, which are stiff and inflexible, get stuck in small blood vessels,causing intense pain. These episodes of pain deprive tissues and organs of oxygen-rich blood and can lead to organ damage, especially in the lungs, kidneys, spleen, and brain. The discovery of Sickle Cell was the first time agenetic disease was linked to a mutation of aspecific protein, a milestone in the history ofmolecular biology. Sickle cell disease is a disease caused by a genetic abnormality in the gene for hemoglobin, a molecule in red blood cells, which results in the production of sickle hemoglobin. When oxygen is released fromsickle hemoglobin, it sticks together and forms long rods, which damage and changethe shape of the red blood cell. It is most common among people whose lineages can be traced in countries like Africa, Greece, Turkey, Italy and many Spanish speaking regions such as South and CentralAmerica and the Caribbean. In 1973, the average life span was 14, but people with sickle cell disease nowlive into their 40s and 50s, and in somecases, beyond the age of 60.
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