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scientific articles

Daily pain in adults with sickle cell disease-a different perspective

key information

source: American Journal of Hematology

year: 2017

authors: van Tuijn CF, Sins JW, Fijnvandraat K, Biemond BJ


Previous reports demonstrated that patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) experience pain on more than half of the observed days. Yet, these high incidences do not seem to match observations in our population. In this prospective cohort study, we aimed to assess the frequency and characteristics of daily, self-reported pain among adult SCD patients in the Netherlands. Consecutive patients were enrolled during routine outpatient visits and followed up to 6 months. A total of 55 patients completed 5,982 diary observation days. Median age was 27 years (IQR 23-43). Patients reported SCD related pain on 17% of the observed days; on 13% of these days this pain was not defined as a painful crisis, while 3% was reported as a painful crisis but managed at home, and on 1% of the observed days patients were admitted to the hospital. Analgesics were used on 52% of days with pain with a relatively infrequent use of oral opioids (9% of pain days). This first European study on pain in SCD indicates that pain appears to be significantly less frequent in our population as compared to previous study cohorts from the United States, and may be more representative for current SCD populations in other Western countries. Besides a more widespread use of hydroxycarbamide in modern disease management, differences in organization and accessibility of healthcare between countries may also explain this discrepancy.

organization: Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam

DOI: 10.1002/ajh.24612.

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