One in every ten African-Americans has sickle cell trait, and one in five-hundred has sickle cell disease.
One in every 100 Hispanic-Americans has sickle cell trait, and 1 in 1000-1400 has sickle cell disease.
In the United States, approximately 100,000 people have sickle cell disease, and 2 million people have sickle cell trait.
Sickle cell disease is thought to have developed in areas of the world where malaria is present, because sickle cell trait provides some protection from malaria.
Sickle cell affects people of many ethnicities, including those of African, Middle Eastern, Latino, Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean decent. However, it disproportionately affects African-Americans.
Twenty-five years ago, a person with sickle cell disease was not expected to live to adulthood, and the average life span was 21 years. Today, the outlook is much more optimistic, and many people are living beyond age 50.
There is still no universal cure for sickle cell disease.