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patient education

Sickle cell trait

key information

source: National Collegiate Athletic Association


The NCAA Sport Science Institute is committed to the health, safety and well-being of student-athletes with sickle cell trait.

Sickle cell trait is not a disease; it is an inherited red blood cell condition that can affect athletes at all levels. While sickle cell trait is not a barrier to playing competitive sports, athletes with sickle cell trait have experienced significant physical distress, including collapse and death during intense exercise. Heat, dehydration, inadequate acclimatization, altitude and asthma can increase the risk for medical complications in athletes with sickle cell trait.


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