Pan African Medical Journal

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Head circumference of children with sickle cell disease in Lagos, Nigeria

Idowu Odunayo Senbanjo, Kazeem Adeola Oshikoya, Mohammed Salisu, Ijeoma Nnenna Diaku-Akinwumi


Introduction: growth retardation and under-nutrition are common in children with sickle cell disease (SCD). The aim of this study was to compare the head circumference (HC) of SCD children and non-SCD children and to determine the effect of malnutrition on head circumference of children with SCD. Methods: this was a prospective case-control study conducted at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria, involving SCD children (subject, n = 118) and non- SCD children (control, n = 118) matched for age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Weight, height and HC were measured using standard techniques. Results: the mean ages of children with and without SCD were 7.46 ± 3.69 years and 7.01 ± 3.58 years, respectively. The HC increased significantly with age in both males and females (r = 0.75, p = < 0.001; r = 0.70, p < 0.001 respectively). There was no significant difference in HC between males and females (p > 0.05). At all ages, the mean head circumference of SCD children was not significantly (p > 0.05) different from non-SCD children. The In the age group 11-15 years, the prevalence of stunting was significantly higher among SCD children than non-SCD children. The mean HC of SCD children with stunting was significantly lower than those not stunted (51.7 vs. 53.5; P= 0.006) in age group 11.15 years. Conclusion: the head circumference of children with SCD is not significantly different from that of non-SCD children. Therefore, the HC chart for the general population is also applicable for monitoring head growth in children with SCD. The effect of malnutrition on head circumference of SCD children is most marked in age group 11-15 years.

The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;25

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