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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 151  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 326-332

Homozygous sickle cell disease in Central India & Jamaica: A comparison of newborn cohorts

1 Department of Pediatrics, Government Medical College, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
3 National Institute of Immunohaematology, KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
4 Sickle Cell Trust (Jamaica), Kingston, Jamaica

Correspondence Address:
Dr Graham Roger Serjeant
Sickle Cell Trust (Jamaica), 14 Milverton Crescent, Kingston 6
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1946_18

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Background & objectives: Homozygous sickle cell (SS) disease in Central India runs a more severe clinical course than reports from other areas of India. The current study was undertaken to compare the disease in Central India (Nagpur) with that in Jamaica, both populations defined by newborn screening. Methods: The Nagpur cohort included infants born to sickling-positive mothers from May 2008 to 2012, examined by high-pressure liquid chromatography and DNA analysis. The Jamaican cohort screened 100,000 consecutive non-operative deliveries between June 1973 and December 1981, analyzed by haemoglobin (Hb) electrophoresis and confirmed by family studies and compatible HbA2levels. Results: In Nagpur, 103 SS patients were detected, but only 78 (76%) were followed up. In Jamaica, 311 cases were followed from birth and compliance with follow up remained 100 per cent up to 45 years. In the Nagpur cohort all had the Asian haplotype, and 82 per cent of Jamaicans had at least one Benin chromosome; none had the Asian haplotype. Compared to Jamaica, Nagpur patients had higher foetal Hb, less alpha-thalassaemia, later development of splenomegaly and less dactylitis. There were also high admission rates for febrile illness and marked anaemia. Invasive pneumococcal disease occurred in 10 per cent of Jamaicans but was not seen in Nagpur. Interpretation & conclusions: There were many differences between the disease in Nagpur, Central India and the African form observed in Jamaica. The causes of severe anaemia in Nagpur require further study, and reticulocyte counts may be recommended as a routine parameter in the management of SS disease. The role of pneumococcal prophylaxis needs to be determined in Nagpur patients. Future studies in India must avoid high default rates.

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