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An Anemic Inheritance

Sixty years ago this month, W. Warrick Cardozo published a paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine entitled, "Immunologic Studies in Sickle Cell Anemia," which reported the results of one of the first studies of the disease. Cardozo, a young American physician, discovered that sickle cell anemia--a condition in which a majority of red blood cells are crescent shaped--runs in families and that it strikes almost exclusively people of African descent. In addition, Cardozo found that not all victims were killed by the disease and that not all persons whose blood contained sickle cells suffered from anemia. These important observations came 13 years before researchers had identified the hemoglobin abnormality that causes sickle cell anemia.

[Source: Emily McMurray, Ed. Notable Twentieth Century Scientists. Gale Research Inc. ITP. 1995.]