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Sickle cell children living longer

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Children with sickle-cell disease are living longer and dying less often from the condition than ever before, U.S. researchers reported Thursday.

Children with sickle-cell disease are living longer and dying less often from the condition than ever before, U.S. researchers reported Thursday. The researchers, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, conducted one of the largest studies to date on the inherited red blood cell disorder. They followed 700 Dallas-area children with the disease over two decades. Patients with sickle cell anemia, the severest and most common form of the disease, had a survival rate of 86 percent at age 18, and 97 percent of 18-year-olds with milder forms of the disease survived. Though 12 percent of sickle cell anemia patients still suffer a stroke by age 18 — a rate that has remained constant — more are surviving the stroke. Thirty years ago, only half of children with sickle cell disease reached adulthood. Between 60,000 and 70,000 Americans suffer from the disease, which is most common among African-Americans. Its name derives from a genetic error that causes red blood cells to be crescent-shaped instead of round, which causes them to block blood vessels. (Source: United Press International, March 2004)

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Posted On: 28 March, 2004
Modified On: 7 December, 2013

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