PSA: Sickle-cell trait is NOT only an African issue!

Saudis and Sickle Cell: Breaking Under "Takesser"

From the article:

In the United States people are often surprised when they learn that a person who is not African American has sickle cell disease. The disease originated in at least 4 places in Africa and in the Indian/Saudi Arabian subcontinent. It exists in all countries of Africa and in areas where Africans have migrated. The transatlantic slave trade was largely responsible for introducing the sickle cell gene into the Americas and the Caribbean. However, sickle cell disease had already spread from Africa to Southern Europe by the time of the slave trade, so it is present in Portuguese, Spaniards, French Corsicans, Sardinians, Sicilians, mainland Italians, Greeks, Turks and Cypriots. Sickle cell disease appears in most of the Near and Middle East countries including Lebanon, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Yemen. Sickle-cell in the western part of Saudia is similar to the type that shows up in Africa however, the type of sickle-cell in Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia is called the "Indian" sickle-cell mutation and is thought to have been introduced from/to the sub-continent via ancient maritime trade routes hundreds of years ago.

Ironically, another study claims the reason sickle-cell has spread across so many diverse populations has everything to do with MALARIA. They propose that because people with sickle-cell are protected from malaria, they lived longer than their sickle-cell-free brethren in areas with high incidences of malaria enabling them to reproduce more thus, passing on their malaria-free though, sickle-cell tainted blood to their children. Judging by pictures like this of old Al-Hassa and how my house is filled with mosquitoes every winter during the "wet" season, I can go along with this theory as I imagine malaria used to be a big problem here.

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