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How Can Sickle Cell Anemia Be Prevented?

You can’t prevent sickle cell anemia, because it’s an inherited disease. If a person is born with it, steps should be taken to reduce complications. (For more information, go to "Living With Sickle Cell Anemia.")

People who are at high risk of having a child with sickle cell anemia and are planning to have children may want to consider genetic counseling. A counselor can explain the risk (likelihood) of having a child who has the disease. He or she also can help explain the choices that are available.

You can find information about genetic counseling from health departments, neighborhood health centers, medical centers, and clinics that care for people who have sickle cell anemia.

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Sickle Cell Anemia in the News

September 9, 2014
NIH-convened panel recommends expanded adoption of drug and transfusion treatments for individuals with sickle cell disease
An expert panel has recommended expanded adoption of the drug hydroxyurea for the care of people with sickle cell disease, according to a report issued today. The report also suggests that clinicians give periodic blood transfusions to children with the disease to reduce stroke risk. According to the panel, both treatments are underutilized.

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NHLBI-supported research has helped reduce the burden of sickle cell disease. Learn more about how this research has benefited Tiffany McCoy and others who are living with sickle cell disease in the NHLBI’s stories of success.


 
September 28, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.