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Article
June 1952

TUBERCULOSIS AND THE SICKLE-CELL TRAIT

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA

From the Department of Chronic Diseases of the Chest, Philadelphia General Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1952;89(6):914-922. doi:10.1001/archinte.1952.00240060057007
Abstract

TUBERCULOSIS in the Negro race differs from tuberculosis in the white race. In the Negro1 it is more frequently an acute disease and has a higher mortality rate. This difference may be due to environmental factors or to racial factors of resistance. Economic and social factors may be important in some cases, but under conditions in which such factors are equal in both races the Negro race continues to show a higher mortality than does the white race.2 Racial resistance to the disease must, therefore, be important in determining the type of tuberculosis which is prone to develop in the Negro.

Sicklemia (the sickle-cell trait) is found in a significant number of Negroes, 7.25% of Negroes in the United States.3 This is a racial trait which is almost entirely limited to the Negro. Therefore, it was thought that it would be worth while to determine whether there

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