ESPE Abstracts (2019) 92 P2-199

Growth failure in children with sickle cell anemia

Ugo Chikani1, Ada Bisi-Onyemaechi1, Ngozi Mbanefo2, Paschal Chime1, Ifeoma Emodi1, Tagbo Oguonu1


1University of Nigeria, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria. 2University of Nigeria,Ituku Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria


Sickle cell anemia (SCA) is the most common subtype of sickle cell disease (SCD) worldwide of The disease is highly prevalent in Sub Saharan Africa with a prevalence rate of 3% in Nigeria; a country with a population of over 180 million. Growth failure is a recognized clinical feature in SCA patients which culminates to short stature if unaddressed. Late presentation/age at diagnosis is one of the daunting challenges. Despite the high prevalence of children with SCA in West Africa, there is paucity of report on the prevalence of growth failure in SCA patients. Hence, the compelling need to embark on this study. The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence of growth delay/failure in Nigerian children with SCA and its relationship with age at diagnosis.

Methodology: A prospective, longitudinal study of consenting children and adolescents with SCA in attendance at the Haematology clinic of the Department of Paediatrics,University of Nigeria teaching hospital [ UNTH]Enugu, Nigeria over a period of one year. The age at diagnosis was obtained. Their heights were measured at three monthly intervals and plotted on a standard WHO growth chart. The parental heights were measured for mid parental height calculations. The height velocity (HV)was calculated using the different height values obtained from the three-monthly interval measurements over a year period. HV was compared with the WHO standard normal linear growth rates for children to identify those with growth failure

Results: A large cohort of 287 children with SCA were evaluated with a male preponderance of 161 [56.1%]. The mean age of participants was 10.4 years and the mean age at diagnosis was 4 years. 54.7% of the children with SCA had Height velocity standard deviation {HVSD} of below -1 during a full year linear growth. An inverse correlation existed between age at diagnosis and height velocity (p value <0.05)

Conclusion: The study demonstrated high prevalence of growth failure in children and adolescents with sickle cell anemia SCA which worsens with older age at diagnosis.

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