06.03.15

Congresswoman Lee Introduces Congressional Resolution Calling For Sickle Cell Trait Research

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement following the introduction of her bipartisan resolution calling for increased efforts for Sickle Cell Trait research and a national campaign to raise awareness about the Sickle Cell Trait:

“Sickle Cell Disease is our nation’s most commonly inherited blood disorder and affects an estimated 100,000 Americans.

More than three million Americans, including one in twelve African Americans and one in one hundred Latinos, carry the Sickle Cell Trait. Tragically, many are unaware that they carry the trait. Those with the trait are at risk for various health conditions and may have a false positive A1C test, a test commonly used to screen for diabetes.

Despite advances in screening, we still lack a common strategy for disseminating results and providing education and counseling.  I hope this resolution prompts a greater conversation about how raise awareness among those living with the Sickle Cell Trait.”

"As a Physician, I cared for many Sickle Cell positive patients and have seen the disease’s debilitating impact first-hand. It’s a growing health threat to tens of thousands of Americans,” said Rep. Burgess, the co-leader of the resolution. "Tragically, many people are unaware that they carry the trait and the myriad health threats that come with it. This resolution is critical for utilizing existing screening technologies to diagnose, educate, and counsel those who are affected."

BACKGROUND:

Individuals who carry the Sickle Cell Trait have a 50-50 chance of passing the trait to their children.  Individuals with the trait have a 25 percent chance of having a child with Sickle Cell Disease, if their partner is also a carrier of the trait.

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.