Thursday, January 21, 2010

Afro American Diseases: January 2010

The month of January brings the celebration of Martin Luther King day. As we know, Doctor King was an outstanding Afro american individual, who lead the crusade for equal rights with his example and oratory skills. As an Afro american, Dr. King
may have been subject to diseases associated with the Black community. I am not aware of any such information, however, having just observed the holiday; I became curious about any such acute or chronic complications.
Sickle cell anemia is a disease associated with Afro americans. It is an hereditary disease. It is a life long blood disorder characterized by sickle shaped blood cells. This sickling is caused by a mutation in the hemoglobin gene.

Life expectancy is short.

42 yrs. for males

48 years for females

It is genetically transmitted to descendants of individuals born in tropical or
sub-tropical regions. That is because malaria is common in these areas. Survival is increased by having sickle cells which halt the malaria infecting the blood cells.

1 in 500 black births
have sickle cell anemia.

Sickle cell anemia can lead to:
renal failure



leg ulcers

and....even blindness.

Also, vaso-occlusive crisis can occur
where the sicklie cells block blood vessels. This can lead
to pain and organ damage. Usually, the spleen is affected.
Also, acute chest syndrome.
The patient suffers pain, fever, difficulty in breathing
and water buildup in the lungs, similar to

For more information:



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Learn more about diseases and the Afro american community:

Research Lupus nephritis, Tibia vara/Blount's disease

and Blackwater fever.


Every picture tells a story.