AA/Caucasian biracial kids & sickle cell trait/disease? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies, I was wondering how common sickle cell anemia is among biracial kids? My kids are biracial (Hubby is black, I'm white). When I was pregnant with my first son, I was seeing an OBGyn and she told me back then (in '05) that neither me nor hubby needed to be screened to see if we are carriers of sickle cell (him) or CF (me) since there would be an almost 0% chance of our children having either since one is a "black" disease and one is a "white" disease.

Do you know if newborns are automatically screened at birth at the hospital? I have no knowledge if my older son was. My younger son was born at home so was obviously never screened, although he did have the PKU, etc right after birth with the ped.

So I started Googling out of curiousity (and you know that can lead to nothing but fear lol!) and found that biracial kids CAN and HAVE gotten sickle cell, and it is freaking me out!!!

Would I know by now if something was wrong with my kids?? My older son is almost 4 years old, younger one is 1 and we want to ttc our third in about a year.

Hubby is very light-skinned, has a lot of white features (as does his mom). He had a DNA genetic test done and found out he is technically 40% white even though both of his parents are black, as are grandparents and great-grands, etc, so the "whiteness" must have happened far back. Only mentioning this because maybe I am hoping that this somehow "diluted" some of the possibility of sickle cell gene.

Can someone please help calm me down?

Mommy to beauties DS1 (7), DS2 (4, autism), & DS3 (2)

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#2 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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Ok, not to worry, it's one of those genes that's recessive.

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Sickle cell anemia is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder. For the disease to be expressed, a person must inherit either two copies of Hb S variant or one copy of Hb S and one copy of another variant. Carriers, who have one copy of the normal HBB gene (Hb A) and one copy of Hb S, are described as having sickle cell trait and do not express disease symptoms. To learn more about sickle cell anemia, see the Disease Profile.
In other words if a person has the dominant gene (regular shaped blood cells) and one sickle, the cells will be round, regular blood cells. Sickle Cell can develop if both parents are either carriers or have the mutation, but it won't neccesarily. Just generally, since most people who have sickle cell are black (I reckon that's probably changing with what seems to be an increase of mixed-race children), your children probably at best could be a carrier. It really depends on what your DH is. If he's a carrier, has the mutation or just regular blood cells.

IN other words they're most likely in the clear and don't have the disease, though there is a possibility they might carry the gene, it likely won't express.

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#3 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Teenytoona View Post
Ok, not to worry, it's one of those genes that's recessive.

Source of quote



In other words if a person has the dominant gene (regular shaped blood cells) and one sickle, the cells will be round, regular blood cells. Sickle Cell can develop if both parents are either carriers or have the mutation, but it won't neccesarily. Just generally, since most people who have sickle cell are black (I reckon that's probably changing with what seems to be an increase of mixed-race children), your children probably at best could be a carrier. It really depends on what your DH is. If he's a carrier, has the mutation or just regular blood cells.

IN other words they're most likely in the clear and don't have the disease, though there is a possibility they might carry the gene, it likely won't express.
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!! This made me feel so much better! I am such a worrier, starting with that first PG test, I am convinced my baby will have every disorder out there and spend hours Googling the possibility until I feel better. Ugh. I need help.
Thank you for calming my nerves!

Mommy to beauties DS1 (7), DS2 (4, autism), & DS3 (2)

and many angel babies angel1.gif

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#4 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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Hey no problem! We all have our worry moments, don't we?

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#5 of 9 Old 03-17-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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I wouldn't worry. When I was pregnant, they didn't even offer to test the fetus for anything, including Sickle Cell. Then again, we have no history of it. I suppose with a family history anything i possible. But don't freak yourself out. It's not in your control anyway.

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#6 of 9 Old 03-20-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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Sickle Cell Disease and Trait are inherited at conception through a recessive gene defect. Normal hemoglobin genes are categorized by the letter A. Sickle Cell genes are categorized by the letter S. If an individual inherits all normal hemoglobin genes they are AA. If they inherit one A and one S (from either parent) they are AS and are said to have Sickle Cell Trait. There are a small number of situations (such as athletes) whereby someone with Trait would have any health problems but they are a carrier of the gene and will need to keep this in mind when they have children. If someone inherits an S gene from both parents (SS), they have Sickle Cell Disease, usually a serious life-long illness requiring specialized medical care and follow-up, including prophylactic penicillin from birth to 5 years of age. Sickle Cell Disease and Trait are highest in people of African descent, followed by Hispanics, East Asians, Italians & Greeks, but anyone can carry it, depending on their ancestry. All states in the US now screen newborns for the Sickle Cell defect at birth (the old PKU test is now a metabolic screening for many genetic disorders.) The year when this became effective in the various states differs - for example, in PA it was 2004. I don't know what the homebirth test includes, but your midwife should be able to tell you. You and your husband should be tested for the gene (a simple blood test.) If neither of you has the gene you are home free. If EITHER of you carries the gene, your children should be tested if they have not been. The report would have been sent to your pediatrician/family doctor of record when they were born if they got tested. The disease may not be obvious if they have a milder version or someone was not specifically looking for the correct symptoms.
If you or hubby are carriers and plan to have more children, I would encourage you to seek genetic counseling regarding the chances of producing an affected child. I am the RN Coordinator for Sickle Cell Disease Resources for Northcentral PA and would be happy to answer any further questions you may have.
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#7 of 9 Old 03-21-2010, 08:09 PM
 
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I have the trait and I'm hispanic but from european descent, i have white skin and blue eyes, mine is symptomatic that's how we found out, I was anemic for the longest time and iron suplements didn't help, so - went ahead and went to a hematologist who had me tested, i just take high dose folic acid and Im fine, my brother has the trait also but his is not symptomatic, we both got it from my dad who is fine also and is Italian.

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#8 of 9 Old 08-01-2012, 10:13 PM
 
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both my girls have sickle cell trait. i am white and my husband is half white half mexican. his dad has the trait and so does his brother, sister and all of his nieces and nephews as well as our kids. my kids are blonde hair green eyes. my husband found out he had it when he joined the military and because he has it they automaticaly tested our kids when they were born. we always get strange looks from drs when we tell them the girls have the trait, almost like they dont believe us. my question is, does anyone who has the trait deal with swelling and burning in the hands, arms and feet. my girls and husband have this happen alot and theeeir hands and feet will turn red with white blotches. they also get night sweats. if anyone else has this problem how do u deal with it and ease the discomfort and pain?

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#9 of 9 Old 08-06-2012, 02:31 PM
 
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Getting tested wouldn't hurt. As I learned that sickle cell is not a "black" disease, but rather a genetic one. I have sickle cell (sc) and had my children tested...neither one of them is positive for the trait. Whereas my biracial niece and nephew possess the trait. One doesn't have to be of any race or ethnic group to have it, so getting your child/children tested wouldn't be going too far but just giving you a peace of mind.

 

To another post..the swelling of the hands and feet I also suffer from. I find soaking in a warm bath with epsom salt really helps..along with taking some anti-inflammatory otc meds.

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