Testing of collegiate athletes for sickle cell trait: what we, as genetic counselors should know

J Genet Couns. 2011 Aug;20(4):337-40. doi: 10.1007/s10897-011-9366-9. Epub 2011 Apr 19.


In August 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) mandated that all of its incoming Division I student-athletes be tested for sickle cell trait. Student-athletes have the additional options to provide proof of a previous sickle cell test result or decline testing, by signing a waiver releasing their institution of liability. This article addresses the origins of the NCAA recommendations, and stresses the importance of proceeding with care. In doing so, it seeks to start a discussion in the genetic counseling community as to what, if any, should our role be?

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / diagnosis*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sports*
  • Workforce