Framing the research agenda for sickle cell trait: building on the current understanding of clinical events and their potential implications

Am J Hematol. 2012 Mar;87(3):340-6. doi: 10.1002/ajh.22271. Epub 2012 Feb 3.


Sickle Cell Trait (HbAS), the heterozygous state for the sickle hemoglobin beta globin gene is carried by as many as 100 million individuals including up to 25% of the population in some regions of the world (World Health Organization, Provisional agenda item 4.8, EB117/34 (22 December 2005) or World Health Organization, Provisional agenda item 11.4 (24 April 2006)). Persons with HbAS have some resistance to falciparum malaria infection in early childhood (Piel FB, Patil AP, Howes RE, et al., Nat Commun 2010;1104:1-7 and Aidoo M, Terlouw DJ, Kolczak M, et al., Lancet 2002;359:1311-1312) and as a result individuals with HbAS living in malarial endemic regions of Africa have a survival advantage over individuals with HbAA. Reports from the US emphasize possible health risks for individuals with HbAS including increased incidence of renal failure and malignancy, thromboembolic disorders, splenic infarction as a high altitude complication, and exercise-related sudden death. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health convened a workshop in Bethesda, Maryland on June 3-4, 2010, Framing the Research Agenda for Sickle Cell Trait, to review the clinical manifestations of HbAS, discuss the exercise-related sudden death reports in HbAS, and examine the public health, societal, and ethical implications of policies regarding HbAS. The goal of the workshop was to identify potential research questions to address knowledge gaps.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Africa / epidemiology
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Athletes
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Death, Sudden / etiology*
  • Death, Sudden / prevention & control
  • Disease Management
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Military Personnel
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Renal Insufficiency / etiology
  • Renal Insufficiency / prevention & control
  • Research*
  • Risk
  • Sickle Cell Trait / complications*
  • Sickle Cell Trait / mortality
  • Sickle Cell Trait / physiopathology
  • Sickle Cell Trait / therapy
  • Splenic Infarction / etiology
  • Splenic Infarction / prevention & control
  • Thromboembolism / epidemiology
  • Thromboembolism / etiology
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control
  • Thrombophilia / drug therapy
  • Thrombophilia / etiology
  • United States / epidemiology