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Sickle cell disease hits young Californians hard

June 16, 2018

The CDC provides support to young adults on World Sickle Day, June 19

San Francisco – Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that can cause pain, anemia, infection and other serious health problems. As young people living with sickle cell disease (SCD) age, their health care needs change.

The teenage years are often the time when their health care transfers from a pediatrician to a doctor who treats adults. This is complicated by a national shortage of knowledgeable doctors who care for adults with SCD. At the same time, teenagers with SCD are learning to become responsible for their own health and healthcare decisions.

This period in young people’s lives is known as “transition.” Transitioning care from pediatric to adult care is a big step towards adulthood and gaining independence, but it can be a scary and challenging process to navigate.

This World Sickle Cell Day, observed each year on June 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are providing special support to young adults living with SCD.

‘Stepping Up,’ a two-part CDC video series for teenagers and young adults with SCD

For World Sickle Cell Day, the CDC is releasing a new two-part video series focusing on health care transition among teenagers and young adults living with SCD. The videos feature Northern Californians Kevin and Calvanay, two young adults with SCD, who discuss transition, how it has affected them and how they’ve overcome challenges. Watch the videos below.

The exact number of people with SCD is unknown, but estimates suggests that approximately 100,000 people in the United States are living with SCD, with approximately 7,000 in California. Another estimated 250,000 people in California carry the sickle cell trait. When two people with the trait have a child, there is a 1 in 4 chance their baby will have this life-threatening and painful disease.

To learn more, go to https://www.facebook.com/SickleCellAnemiaAwarenessSF/.

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