W2 Reflection: Sickle-Cell Anemia amongst African Americans


Race and genetics are in my opinion a true definer of your health history of the past, present, and of the future. For example Sickle Cell Anemia as it was discussed in the lecture, this disease is considered to be a normative illness amongst the African American population. This disease has a great relationship to our course discussion of race, genetics, and health because this illness is specifically common/susceptible to individuals of the African American communities in general. Sickle Cell Anemia or disease is a type of inherited blood disorder that makes the body’s cells become “sickle” shaped versus a circle structure. This sickle-shaped structure then hinders the blood cells from travelling efficiently through the blood vessels.

In relation to our three factors of race, genetics, and health I believe that the true connecting attributes that make these terms similar are the stigmas society has placed upon them. Race and Genetics are just another way to classify us as human beings into group of people for identification purposes. This classifiation of racial and genetic identify then can be reviewed in collaboration with research and data to give us health statistics. All of these factors work within one another. For instance I don’t believe you can classify a person’s race without considering their genetics and health without race and genetics as well!

Another example from lecture would be the video lecture on Sickle Cell disease being prevalent amongst countries in Africa and the protection this illness has against the Malaria virus. The lecture discusses how evolution has helped Sickle Cell to become a “cure” and how this is a great genetic deformity in relation to this deadly infection that has been plaguing African communities for decades. I believe that Sickle Cell has become very prevalent in Africa and other countries around the world because of immigration and migration of American Americans. The prevalence within other races may be attributed to ethnic mixing of races which diversify our world and make us truly “cultured”.

“Sickle Cell Anemia”, last modified April 1, 2009, http://pd7geneticdisorders.wikispaces.com/page/history/Sickle+Cell+Anemia

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