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Hydroxyurea improves lung function in children with sickle cell disease


For the first time, researchers were able to demonstrate that children diagnosed with sickle cell disease showed improvement in lung function after treatment with hydroxyurea, a treatment that is underused despite its demonstrated benefits. The study was presented at the ATS 2016 International Conference.

With 1 in 500 people affected, sickle cell disease is the most commonly inherited genetic disorder in people of African descent. “Persons with sickle cell disease experience an annual decline in lung function that starts in childhood,” said Anya McLaren, MD, FRCP, MSc, lead author and respiratory medicine fellow at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. “This study is the first of its kind to look at the effect of hydroxyurea on lung function. We found that hydroxyurea improves annual pulmonary function decline in children with sickle cell disease by more than one-third.”

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