In the UK, Sickle cell trait is found in 1 in 4 West African and 1 in 10 Afro-Caribbean, and is also found in people who originate from the Mediterranean, Asia and the Middle East. It is less common in white European’s, although with the ever growing diversity of the population this will change.
Most people who have sickle cell trait are healthy and do not have the symptoms as they carry a majority of red round shaped cells however some sickle shaped cells may be present under certain conditions and will need to safeguard against anaesthetics that may cause side effects Always notify your dentist or doctor before treatment commences to be on the safe side.
Other factors to consider are experiencing pain at high altitudes (generally above 10,000 feet), including long-haul flying in unpressurised planes and mountain climbing.
It is important you say you have sickle cell trait before undertaking such activities as you may need to breathe oxygen. Extreme exercise may also precipitate problems and if you are a professional athlete you should have a training programme that takes account of this.
The trait is not an illness, but if you are planning to have children, then certain factors have to be considered and to seek medical advice and screening from your GP.