September is National Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Month, and the Directors of Health Promotion and Education Health Equity Program supports the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) efforts to increase the awareness of this blood disorder, which disproportionately impacts racial and ethnic populations.
Today, while much attention is focused on preventable chronic conditions, like diabetes, obesity and hypertension, between 90,000 and 100,000 people in the United States live with sickle cell disease (SCD) - the single most common inherited blood disorder in the country.
Minorities, particularly African Americans and Hispanic Americans, bear a disproportionate burden from this genetic blood disorder. According to the NHLBI, roughly 1 in every 365 African American children are born with sickle cell disease. And 1 in 13 African American babies are born with sickle cell trait. Other groups with sickle cell disease, though with relatively lower levels of prevalence, include Hispanics, southern Europeans, Middle Easterners, and Asian Indians.