Assessing Knowledge of Sickle Cell Trait/Disease Inheritance in Metropolitan Detroit.
Journal of the National Medical Association
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an autosomal recessive disease not specific to one race. This study aims to assess knowledge about the inheritance pattern of sickle cell disease among college students in the Metropolitan Detroit area. An electronic survey was administered to undergraduate students at Oakland University, and first through fourth year medical students at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB). The primary analysis compared knowledge of sickle cell disease inheritance pattern between different demographic categories. A total of 146 Oakland University (27.4%) and OUWB (72.6%) students responded to the survey. The average age of the respondents was 24.27 ± 4.09. The majority of respondents were female (61%) and white (72.6%). In total, three (3) respondents - 1 white, 1 Asian and 1 African American, reported knowing that they have sickle cell disease/trait. In addition, one (1) white female respondent reported having an infant carrying the sickle cell trait. Most respondents (95.9%) knew that sickle cell disease/trait is genetically inherited, but a majority believed that it is associated only with African-Americans (67.8%). Respondents who were college graduates were more likely to correctly identify SCD inheritance patterns (98% compared to 85% of undergraduates; p = 0.002) and less likely to correctly answer the question "Who gets the disease?" (24% compared to 63%; p < 0.001). Most respondents (75%) think people should know if they have sickle cell trait/disease before marriage. The result shows that most respondents believe sickle cell disease is specific to African-Americans. However, because it is equally possible for all races to inherit this disease, knowing one's status could help prevent sickle cell-related deaths during rigorous exercises and enable individuals of reproductive age to make informed reproductive decisions in order to decrease sickle cell disease prevalence, and its associated financial and psychosocial burdens.
Orelaru F, Bolanle G, Tolulope I, Ishmael J. Assessing Knowledge of Sickle Cell Trait/Disease Inheritance in Metropolitan Detroit. J Natl Med Assoc. 2019 Dec;111(6):656-664. doi: 10.1016/j.jnma.2019.09.003. Epub 2019 Oct 26. PMID: 31662206.