Risk factors

In addition to precipitating factors, risk factors rendering patients more prone to painful crises include certain genotypes such as homozygous sickle cell disease with homozygous a+-thalassemia and sickle cell-b°-thalassemia, male sex, age 15 to 29 years, high total hemoglobin and low HbF levels, and pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period. Common to several of these factors is the high total hemoglobin level, so that a logical approach to prevention might be venesection to lower the hemoglobin level.

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