A. P. GELPI, M.D.
If we assume that the sickle-cell mutation occurred in equatorial Africa, distribution of the sickle-cell trait in the Middle East and India correlates well with historical evidence of population displacement into these areas as a result of the East African slave trade, and with the distribution of African blood group markers in Asia. The occurrence of the sickle-cell trait in southern Europe parallels the extent of the medieval Arab conquests and is believed to reflect gene flow from the Middle East. Changing endemicity of Plasmodium falciparum malaria; interaction between hemoglobin S, thalassemia, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency; and contribution to the gene pool from subjects with mild homozygous sickle-cell disease are thought to be additional reasons for patterns of sickle-cell trait distribution in Eurasian populations.
A. P. GELPI. Migrant Populations and the Diffusion of the Sickle-Cell Gene. Ann Intern Med. 1973;79:258–264. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-79-2-258
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1973;79(2):258-264.
Hematology/Oncology, Red Cell Disorders.
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