Sickle Cell Life Expectancy

Summary: The life expectancy of sickle cell anemia is in general affected and is different from that of healthy individuals. Most case studies note that there are sharp chances of infant mortality though this concern is out shadowed by the higher mortality rates amongst adults afflicted by sickle anemia.


Content: Sickle cell anemia life expectancy is a dicey issue on which much light has not been shed. Only a few studies have been conducted about sickle cell anemia life expectancy and these have arrived at largely similar conclusions. As sickle cell anemia is mostly prevalent amongst people of African or sub-African origin, the studies were largely focused on individuals from these ethnic backgrounds.


It can largely be inferred that the sickle cell anemia life expectancy of individuals varies depending on the type of anemia they suffered from. The two types involved here would be sickle cell anemia and the sickle cell hemoglobin-C disease. The number of deaths amongst people afflicted by the latter was comparatively lesser than the count for the former. However, a general trend was that sickle cell anemia life expectancy was at threat once the individual reached 20 years.


Amongst children, the age group in the danger zone was the 1 to 3 category. Mortality dipped drastically once the child passed this age. This shows that effective healthcare as well as early diagnosis is crucial at this juncture. In general, sickle cell anemia life expectancy of children and teenager is the same as that for normal young adults. The sickle cell anemia life expectancy shows no deviation from the expectancy graph of a normal child. Also, with the advent of mandatory health screening for all infants, it can be assumed that most anemic cases will be diagnosed well before complications arise and necessary treatment will be administered. Due to this, the life expectancy for children with the disease rises up to 85%.


The trend and pattern of life expectancy strongly depends on the age. For people suffering from sickle cell anemia who have crossed the age of 20, life expectancy drastically decreases compared to a normal adult. Also, the mortality cannot be assigned to a single clinical factor. In general, the sickle cell anemia life expectancy is around twenty to thirty years lesser than normal. Very few patients with sickle cell anemia have survived up to the age of 60. It has been reported that the sickle cell anemia life expectancy also varies depending on the sex of the individual.


In general, the sickle cell anemia life expectancy of women was much greater than the sickle cell anemia life expectancy of men. The median age for women with the disease was reported to be around 48 years while for men it was around 40 years. The reason for this variation in life expectancy is immediately not clear. It may perhaps be attributed to the subtle genetic difference between males and females. The difference in lifestyles between males and females (though subtle) may also prove to be a cause.


The high mortality rate and low sickle cell anemia life expectancy among adults cannot be pinned to a single factor. An immediate cause cannot be associated with the deaths here. In general, two major factors (apart from the general health of the person) may be considered as prime culprits – a high white count and a low fetal hemoglobin level. Also, it must be noted that the sickle cell anemia life expectancy of an individual who shows no outward symptoms is no different from that of a severely afflicted individuals. The sickle cells cause vascular lesions regardless and this can be strongly attributed to the lowered life expectancy.

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