Sickle Cell Chronic Lung Disease among Young Adult Nigerians

  • AE Fawibe
  • PO Oluboyo
  • AK Salami
Keywords: Sickle cell anaemia, chronic lung disease, adult, Nigerians.


BACKGROUND: Sickle cell chronic lung disease (SCLD) is often underappreciated by health care providers because its exact prevalence and methods of diagnosis have not been well studied.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the pattern of SCLD among young adult Nigerians with sickle cell anaemia (SCA).
METHODS: Ninety (43 males and 47 females) patients with SCA who were selected by balloting and 90 (54 males and 36 females) healthy subjects with normal adult haemoglobin were studied. Their ventilatory function test (spirometry and peak expiratory flow rates), radiological and electocardiographic parameters were obtained and analyzed for SCLD.
RESULTS: Seventeen (18.9%) of the patients had SCLD. Majority (94.1%) of them were in stage1 disease, 5.9% in stage two, and none in the more advanced stages3 and 4. The number of patients with SCLD increased with increasing age. SCLD was associated with more than five previous hospital
admissions (82.4%, OR=10.02, CI=4.51–22.22) and presence of symptoms suggesting previous acute chest syndrome (dyspnoea in 58.8%, OR=33.33, CI=7.39-150.30; chest pain in 94.1%, OR=81.33, CI= 9.83-672.85; cough in 47.1%, OR=64.00, CI=7.15-572.60).
CONCLUSION: SCLD may not be a rare event in Nigeria. Therefore efforts should be made to diagnose it in the early asymptomatic stage so as to offer effective intervention therapy to halt progression to the more disabling advanced stages.

WAJM 2010; 29(1): 30–33.

Keywords: Sickle cell anaemia; chronic lung disease; adult; Nigerians.


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eISSN: 0189-160X