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March 25, 1974

Screening of Military Recruits for Hemoglobin Variants

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Medical Sciences Department, Naval Medical Research Institute, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1974;227(12):1405-1407. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230250029023

Results of a survey for the incidence of hemoglobin variants occurring in Navy and Marine Corps black male recruits yielded an observed incidence of sickle cell trait as 8.02%. Sickle cell anemia or sickle cell disease was present in 0.2% of the recruits tested. Automated detection of hemoglobin S by the dithionite solubility test yields incidence results identical to those of hemoglobin electrophoresis. Preliminary testing for hemoglobin S alone is considered adequate for the purposes of occupational health safety but not for purposes of genetic counseling concerning hemoglobin variants. The results of this pilot study led to the introduction of testing all recruits for hemoglobin S at all Naval Training Centers and Marine Corps Recruit Depots.