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scientific articles

Trends in Sickle Cell Disease – Related Mortality in the United States, 1979 to 2017

key information

source: Annals of Emergency Medicine

year: 2020

authors: Amanda B. Payne, Jason M. Mehal, Christina Chapman, Dana L. Haberling, Lisa C. Richardson, Christopher J. Bean, W. Craig Hooper


Study objective:
We provide an updated assessment of trends in sickle cell disease (SCD)–related mortality, a significant source of mortality in the United States among black persons, using 1979 to 2017 US mortality data.

SCD-related deaths were identified with International Classification of Diseases codes. Because SCD-related death is rare in other races, the analysis focused on black decedents. Age-specific and average annual SCD-related death rates were calculated. Causes of death codes were categorized into 20 groups relevant to SCD outcomes. SCD-related deaths were compared with non–SCD-related deaths after matching on race, sex, age group, and year of death.

There were 25,665 SCD-related deaths reported among blacks in the United States from 1979 through 2017. During that period, the annual SCD-related death rate declined in children and increased in adults, and the median age at death increased from 28 to 43 years. Acute causes of death, such as infection and cerebrovascular complications, were more common in younger age groups. Chronic complications were more common in adults. SCD-related deaths were more likely to be related to acute cardiac, pulmonary, and cerebrovascular complications; acute infections; and chronic cardiac and pulmonary complications and renal disorders; and less likely to be related to drug overdose and chronic infections than non–SCD-related deaths.

These data indicate SCD-related deaths are now more likely to be related to chronic complications of the disease than to acute complications. More research regarding prevention and treatment of chronic complications of SCD is necessary because persons with SCD are living longer.

organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA

DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2020.08.009

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