We have previously determined that in African sickle cell anemia (SS) patients three different beta-like globin gene cluster haplotypes are associated with different percent G gamma (one of the two types of non- alpha chains comprising hemoglobin F [HbF]), mean percent HbF, and percent dense cells. We report now that in adult New York SS patients, the presence of at least one chromosome with the Senegal haplotype is associated with higher Hb levels (1.2 g/dL higher) than is found for any other non-Senegal haplotype (P less than .004). The percent reticulocytes and the serum bilirubin levels were lower in these patients. When the effect of alpha-gene number was analyzed by examining a sample of SS patients with concomitant alpha-thalassemia, the same results were obtained. Because the HbF level is significantly higher among the Senegal haplotype carriers in this sample, the inhibitory effect on sickling of this Hb variant may be one of the reasons for the haplotype effect. We conclude that the Senegal beta- like globin gene cluster haplotype is associated with an amelioration of the hemolytic anemia that characterizes sickle cell disease.

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