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What is sickle cell trait?

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Quick Answer

Sickle cell trait is the expression of the sickle cell gene that is passed on from one parent, according to WebMD. Individuals possessing the trait are carriers of sickle cell-related diseases, such as sickle cell anemia.

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Full Answer

A person normally inherits two hemoglobin genes, one from each parent. A gene found in chromosome 11 is responsible for coding hemoglobin in the body. However, a mutation can transform the gene into a sickle cell gene. An individual who tests positive for sickle cell trait only acquires one sickle cell gene at birth.

Generally, people with sickle cell trait do not manifest symptoms and lead healthy lives. Although, in cases of severe physical stress, a person with sickle cell trait has been known to experience muscular discomfort and other disorders.

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