Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Distribution of the Sickle-Cell Trait in Uganda, and its Ethnological Significance


IT has been known since 1910 that the red blood corpuscles of some Negroes assume a peculiar sickle shape when deprived of oxygen. The condition is hereditary, transmitted on Mendelian lines, and is estimated to affect some 7·5 per cent of North American Negroes1. In the majority of those affected no disability is present ; but a small proportion is alleged to develop a chronic hæmolytic anæmia, and it is this aspect, rather than the inherited abnormality itself, that has claimed the attention of most medical writers on the subject. Although our interest was primarily medical, some of our findings appear to have a bearing on anthropology, and are therefore presented here.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Wintrobe, M. M., "Clinical Hematology" (London, 1946).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Beet, E. A., E. Afr. Med. J., 23, 75 (1946); 24, 212 (1947).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Singer, K., and Robin, S., J. Amer. Med. Assoc., 156, 1021 (1948).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Thomas, H. B., and Scott, R., "Uganda" (Oxford, 1935).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Tarantino, A., Uganda J., 10, 12 (1946).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

LEHMANN, H., RAPER, A. Distribution of the Sickle-Cell Trait in Uganda, and its Ethnological Significance. Nature 164, 494–495 (1949).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing