Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
GUIMARAES, Cínthia Tavares Leal and COELHO, Gabriela Ortega. The importance of genetic counseling at sickle cell anemia. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2010, vol.15, suppl.1, pp.1733-1740. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232010000700085.
The genetic counseling has the purpose of guiding people through a conscientious and balanced decision making process regarding procreation, helping them to understand how the hereditary succession can contribute for the occurrence or risk of recurrence of genetic illnesses, as it is the case of the sickle cell anemia. This type of anemia is the most prevalence hereditary illness in Brazil and has clinical complications that can harm the development, the quality of life and lead to death. The present article has the objective to clarify the importance of the genetic counseling for the anemia carriers or falciform trace, aiming at to point out the main characteristics of this illness, its complications and how the diagnosis is made. The study was based on the bibliographical method, looking for studies that deal with this type of anemia and genetic counseling, relating them with guidelines and data from the Health Ministry. Based on the found data, we infer the importance of genetic counseling for the individuals who present the heterozygote form of sickle cell anemia - the falcemic trace - and highlight the need to implement precocious diagnostics programs and genetic and social/psychological orientation for those with the disease or falciform trace.
Keywords : Genetic counseling; Sickle cell anemia; Public health; Hereditary illness.