According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around one in every 365 African American babies is born with SCD in the U.S. Furthermore, approximately 300,000 babies are born with SCD each year worldwide.
Hemoglobin SS (Hb SS) is the most common type of sickle cell disease. In this disorder, some of the red blood cells are crescent- or sickle-shaped. These abnormally shaped cells have a shorter lifespan than normal red blood cells, and they have a tendency to get stuck in blood vessels and block the flow of blood to certain parts of the body. If the condition is left untreated, there is a risk of anemia, organ damage, or even death. However, if Hb SS is identified early in life and treated immediately, individuals can lead healthier lives.