Racial distribution

It is commonly and incorrectly assumed that the sickle cell gene is confined to people of African origin. Most of the disease encountered in North and South America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and France is of African origin, but the gene also occurs around the Mediterranean, particularly in Sicily and southern Italy, northern Greece, southern Turkey, the Arabian peninsula, and central India. Patients of Turkish origin are commonly seen in Germany, and Greek patients are widely scattered in North and South America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In India, the gene largely affects people in the interior of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharastra; although large numbers are affected, people from these populations are not commonly seen elsewhere.

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