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Sickle cell trait may not increase the risk of death


People who carry a gene for sickle cell disease might not have an elevated mortality risk, according to a study released today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Sickle cell disease occurs in 1 out of every 365 black people born in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They carry two copies of a gene for sickle cell disease. Those who carry only one copy of the gene are said to have sickle cell trait. About 1 in 13 black Americans have sickle cell trait. An earlier study found that sickle cell trait may lead to an increased risk of sudden death, but the new study comes to a different conclusion.

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