Prevalence of Chronic Complications in Adult Sickle Cell Anemia Patients in a Tertiary Hospital in South-South Nigeria

  • Kingsley Akaba
  • Benedict Nwogoh
  • Henry Obanife
  • Ofonime Essien
  • Ezeoke Epoke
Keywords: Adult, chronic, complication, sickle cell anemia


Background: Nigeria has the largest cohort of sickle cell anemia (SCA) worldwide; the chronic complication in adult sickle cell anemia
patients is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. However, there is a paucity of studies describing the prevalence of the spectrum of chronic complications encountered by adult SCA patients. This study is aimed at increasing the awareness of chronic  complications among adult SCA patients.

Methodology: This was a cross‑sectional hospital‑based study involving 60 SCA patients visiting the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, which was carried out from July 2017 to June 2018. The study involved 23 males and 37 females with ages ranging from 16 to 42 years. Information about the social demographic characteristics and any form of chronic complication of the participants were obtained using a questionnaire. A multisystemic examination was also done to ascertain their claims, and other information regarding chronic complications were obtained from their records at the Adult Haematology Clinic, Department of Haematology, UCTH.

Results: The median age of the participants was 23 years. The participants consisted of 23 (38.30%) males and 37 (61.70%) females. The majority (86.70%) were single, whereas the remaining 13.30% were married. Most of the participants had tertiary education (73.30%), whereas the rest (26.60) had only secondary education. The most prevalent complication was avascular necrosis (AVN) with a prevalence of 8.33%, followed by retinopathy (6.67%), pulmonary hypertension, and leg ulcer had a prevalence of 5%, respectively. The least common complications were nephropathy, stroke, and hepatopathy, with a prevalence of 3.33%, respectively.

Conclusion: The index study has exposed that adult SCA patients are associated with the spectrum of chronic complications ranging from AVN, retinopathy, pulmonary hypertension, leg ulcer, stroke, nephropathy, and hepatobiliary complication. The prompt intervention will help to improve their quality of life.

Keywords: Adult, chronic, complication, sickle cell anemia


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2667-0526
print ISSN: 1115-2613