Adults with sickle cell disease are in more pain than believed says a report from the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University. Sickle cell disease—an inherited condition in which red blood cells are crescent shaped instead of being round, making it difficult for cells to pass through blood vessels—is usually found in people of African descent.

By tracking “pain diaries” of 232 people (ages 16 and older) living with sickle cell, researchers found that 29 percent experienced pain everyday, 54 percent reported pain on more than half the days, 14 percent rarely reported pain and average pain intensity was in the middle of the pain scale. Doctors also found that these patients mostly deal with the pain at home instead of getting checked out by a doctor.

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