In the United States, sickle cell disease is most common in African American and person of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian ancestry. Sickle cell disease also affects other groups including Hispanics/Latinos and Asians. A growing number of Caucasian Americans in North Carolina are being identified with sickle cell trait (carrier) and other abnormal hemoglobin types.
All newborns in North Carolina should receive a hemoglobin test at birth to be analyzed by the State Laboratory of Public Health. It is recommended that couples who are planning to become parents and persons of childbearing age be tested. Anyone who is unsure of their risk status should also be tested. Research studies at the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Medical Centers have led to the usage of new drugs and other treatments that help clients live healthier and more productive lives.