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scientific articles

Hydroxyurea effectiveness in children and adolescents with sickle cell anemia: A large retrospective, population-based cohort

key information

source: American Journal of Hematology

year: 2017

authors: Quarmyne MO, Dong W, Theodore R, Anand S, Barry V, Adisa O, Buchanan ID, Bost J, Brown RC, Joiner CH, Lane PA


The clinical efficacy of hydroxyurea in patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA) has been well established. However, data about its clinical effectiveness in practice is limited. We evaluated the clinical effectiveness of hydroxyurea in a large pediatric population using a retrospective cohort, pre-post treatment study design to control for disease severity selection bias. The cohort included children with SCA (SS, Sβ0 thalassemia) who received care at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) and who initiated hydroxyurea in 2009-2011. Children on chronic transfusions, or children with inadequate follow up data and/or children who had taken hydroxyurea in the 3 years prior were excluded. For each patient healthcare utilization, laboratory values, and clinical outcomes for the 2-year period prior to hydroxyurea initiation were compared to those 2 years after initiation. Of 211 children with SCA who initiated hydroxyurea in 2009-2011, 134 met eligibility criteria. After initiation of hydroxyurea, rates of hospitalizations, pain encounters, and emergency department visits were reduced by 47% (<0.0001), 36% (P = 0.0001) and 43% (P < 0.0001), respectively. Average hemoglobin levels increased by 0.7 g/dl (P < 0.0001). Hydroxyurea effectiveness was similar across gender, insurance types and age, although there was a slightly greater reduction in hospitalizations in younger children.

organization: Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; Connance, Inc, Waltham, Massachusetts; Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta

DOI: 10.1002/ajh.24587

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