The NCAA recently declared sickle cell trait (SCT) to be a risk factor for sudden illness and death among student athletes. Fetal hemoglobin (HbF) concentration in adults is negatively correlated with disease severity in sickle cell anemia, although its effect on SCT is not fully understood and the concentration is found to have high variability across populations. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at the human beta globin gene cluster, rs7482144 and rs10128556, contribute to the heritable variation in HbF levels and are associated with increased HbF concentrations in adults. A sample population of NCAA football student athletes was genotyped for these two polymorphisms, and their allele frequencies were compared to those of other populations. The minor allele of both polymorphisms had allele frequencies of 0.091 in the sample population, which compared closely with other populations of recent African heritage but was significantly different from European populations. The results of this study will be included in a larger study to predict whether these among other polymorphisms can be used as markers to predict susceptibility to heat-related emergencies in NCAA student athletes with SCT, although the small sample size will delay this process until participation in the study increases. Since both rs7482144 and rs10128556 exhibit high levels of linkage disequilibrium, and as their contributions to the heritable variability of HbF concentrations tend to differ greatly between populations of different ancestry, further investigations should be aimed at distinguishing between the effects of each SNP in African American, European, and other populations represented in NCAA football before conclusions can be drawn as to their practical use as genetic markers of heat susceptibility in student athletes with SCT.
- Genetically-Related Health Disparities in Sports: Frequency Analysis of Two Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in NCAA Student Athletes with Sickle Cell Trait
The date the item was original created (prior to any relationship with the ASU Digital Repositories.)
Collections this item is in