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Researchers Identify Genetic Predictors of Sickle Cell Anemia-Related Complications

Patients with sickle cell anemia who do not have alpha-thalassemia and the genetic rs1427407 T variant of the BCL11A gene may be at higher risk for hemolysis (rupture of red blood cells) and stroke, according to the results of studies of three independent groups.

These findings were featured in Blood Advances, in the study titled “Associations of α-thalassemia and BCL11A with stroke in Nigerian, United States, and United Kingdom sickle cell anemia cohorts.”

“Our goals were to incorporate individual genetic predictors of sickle cell disease severity into a risk profile to better predict which patients are at higher risk for sickle cell-related complications,” Santosh L. Saraf, MD, lead author of the study, said in a news report. Saraf is an assistant professor of medicine in the department of hematology and oncology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.