Sickle Cell Trait Linked to Lower HbA1c, Higher Risk of ESRD

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Two recent papers draw attention to some clinically significant health risks for patients with sickle cell trait (SCT)—an inherited blood disorder affecting up to 10% of African Americans.

African Americans with SCT have lower levels of hemoglobin A1c—which may place them at risk of delayed or missed diagnosis of diabetes and prediabetes, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (J Am Med Assoc 2017; 317:507–515).

“These findings suggest that HbA1c may systematically underestimate past glycemia in African American patients with SCT and may require further evaluation,” according to the report by

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