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October 1981

Sickle Cell Trait and Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency: Effects on Health and Military Performance in Black Navy Enlistees

Author Affiliations

From the Environmental Medicine Department, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego (Ms Hoiberg); the University of Montana, Missoula (Mr Ernst); and the Naval Medical Research and Development Command, Bethesda, Md (Dr Uddin).

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(11):1485-1488. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340120093019

The purpose of this longitudinal study was to compare the Navy performance and health status during a four-year enlistment of four subsamples of black enlistees who began active service between Feb 14 through Sept 15, 1972. On the basis of results obtained from screening procedures for hemoglobinopathies, a sample of 8,725 enlistees was separated into four subgroups: 599 subjects with sickle cell trait, 1,003 subjects with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency, 73 subjects with both trait anomalies, and 7,050 normal subjects. Results of comparative analyses indicated that the three trait subsamples did not differ significantly from the normal group on demographic and service-related variables, seven performance criteria, hospitalization rates, or mortality. Thus, the trait anomalies studied were found to be benign under routine conditions of naval service.

(Arch Intern Med 1981;141:1485-1488)

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