Sickle cell disease is a common inherited disorder of red blood cells. In the United States, it is more common among African Americans. Sickle cell disease is also common in other racial / ethnic groups in the United States and around the world. The map on the next page shows the areas of the world.
Most children with sickle cell disease feel and look fine most of the time. When they do have medical problems, they can become sick very quickly and with little warning. For this reason, the State Department of Health now tests all newborns in New Jersey for sickle cell disease. Identifying infants with sickle cell disease in the first weeks of life can help prevent some of the serious medical problems of the disease.