Sickle Cell Anemia Essay

Length: 2 pages Subject: Disease Type: Essay Paper: #81837801 Related Topics: Anemia, Malaria, Cell, Blood
Excerpt from Essay :

Sickle Cell Anemia

There are both advantages and disadvantages of having sickle cell anemia. How much benefit a person gets from sickle cell anemia's advantages, however, largely depends on where that person is located and what his or her environment is. The same concept applies to the disadvantages of this condition, although to a lesser extent. The root of the advantages and disadvantages of this disease pertain to its specific form of anemia. Anemia is succinctly defined as an occurrence in a patient's blood characterized by a marked lack of healthy red blood cells. Some of these blood cells look like a sickle because they are abnormally shaped. Because this disease is based on one's blood, it substantially impacts processes and conditions that are related to blood -- which has both boons and detriments.

The principle boon associated with sickle cell anemia is the fact that it has a selective advantage in conditions in which there is malaria. Sickle cell anemia is a genetic condition and is largely passed down from parents to children. Malaria is a disease that is widely transmitted by bites from mosquitoes that have malaria. Due to the genetic nature of sickle cell anemia and its propensity to mutate over time, those with sickle cell anemia have built up a defense to malaria. Essentially, it is exceedingly difficult -- if not outright impossible -- for those with


Malaria is frequently found in certain tropical conditions, or those that exist in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. It is noteworthy that there are several people who have been infected with malaria in these types of climates and environment, which may have contributed to instances of sickle cell anemia. However, because of the long history of sickle cell anemia in these areas in which malaria is prevalent, those who have the former have built up resistance to the latter and effectively can not exhibit the noxious symptoms of malaria.

However, there are also disadvantages to having sickle cell anemia. The primary disadvantage is that they prevent a person's blood from flowing properly, and getting to where it needs to get in the body. The reason that people with sickle cell anemia sometimes incur difficulty in the movement of their red blood cells is because of the shape of those cells, which is abnormal and oftentimes elongated. People without this condition have red blood cells that are round, and frequently have a hole in the middle. These cells can easily pass through the body to various organs and carry vital things such as oxygen, which is necessary for the brain to function. Those with sickle cell anemia, however, encounter situations in which there red blood cells are difficult to move and may create blockage in various organs or…

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