Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Sickle-cell disease, or sickle-cell anaemia or drepanocytosis, is an autosomal recessive genetic blood disorder, characterized by red blood cells that assume an abnormal, rigid, sickle shape. Sickling occurs because of a mutation in the hemoglobin gene and decreases the cells' flexibility and results in a risk of various complications. In 1994, in the US, the average life expectancy of persons with this condition was estimated to be 42 years in males and 48 years in females, but today, thanks to better management of the disease, patients can live into their 50s or beyond. Learn more about the sickle-cell disease, its causes and management in the following pages.