BACKGROUND: The most common hereditary hemoglobin disorder, affecting 20 million individuals worldwide, is sickle cell disease. The vascular obstruction resulting from the sickling of cells in this disease can produce local hypoxemia, pain crises and infarction in several tissues, including the bones, spleen, kidneys and lungs. METHODS: The present study is characterized as a case control study, with the aim of identifying the baseline blood lactate concentration in individuals with hemoglobin SS and SC diseases. One-way ANOVA with the Tukey post-test was used to analyze the results and a p-value < 0.05 was considered significant. Calculations were made using the INSTAT statistical program. The graphs were generated using the ORING program. The study sample was composed of 31 men and women residing in the city of Santo Antônio de Jesus, Bahia, Brazil. The individuals were divided into two groups: Group GC of 16 subjects who did not present with any type of structural hemoglobinopathy; and Group GE composed of 15 individuals with ages between 2 and 35 years old, who had the SS and SC genotypes. Sample analyses were performed with 3 mL of blood during fasting. RESULTS: The baseline blood lactate concentration of the SS and SC individuals was higher than that of the control group (p<0.001) with means of 4.86 ± 0.95; 3.30 ± 0.33; 1.31 ± 0.08 IU/L for SS, SC and controls, respectively. This corroborates the initial research hypothesis. CONCLUSION: The baseline blood lactate of SS and SC individuals is 3 to 4 times higher than that of healthy subjects, probably due to the fact that these patients have a metabolic deviation to the anaerobic pathway.