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Sickle Cell Trait

The NCAA Sport Science Institute is committed to the health, safety and well-being of student-athletes with sickle cell trait. 

Sickle cell trait is not a disease; it is an inherited red blood cell condition that can affect athletes at all levels. While sickle cell trait is not a barrier to playing competitive sports, athletes with sickle cell trait have experienced significant physical distress, including collapse and death during intense exercise. Heat, dehydration, inadequate acclimatization, altitude and asthma can increase the risk for medical complications in athletes with sickle cell trait. 

Through awareness, education and proper physical conditioning under the supervision of a primary athletics health care provider, athletes with sickle cell trait may safely achieve outstanding athletic performance. 

Sickle Cell Trait for Student Athletes

This downloadable resource provides information for student-athletes on the sickle cell trait and the impact it can have on the training and performance of college athletes.

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Sickle Cell Trait for Coaches

This downloadable resource for coaches provides information on sickle cell and the role of coaches and their staffs in working with student-athletes who have the sickle cell trait.

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