What is the likelihood that a child will have sickle cell disease (SCD) if both parents have the sickle cell trait (SCT)?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

If both parents have the sickle cell trait, the chance that a child will have sickle cell disease is 25%. If one parent is carrying the trait and the other actually has disease, the odds increase to 50% that their child will inherit the disease. Screening and genetic counseling theoretically have the potential to drastically reduce the prevalence of SCD. This promise has not been realized. Some authors have recommended emergency department screening or referral for patients unaware of their status as a possible heterozygote. [30]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!