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Due to the developing nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the effect of other health conditions on COVID-19 outcomes is not yet clear. This study, published in Blood Advances, identified predictors of outcomes and survival in patients with COVID-19 and sickle cell disease. 

Data from patients in four COVID-19 epicenters were used. Patients had a median age of 34 years and were followed for up to 3 months after hospital discharge. A total of 75% of patients with both sickle cell disease and COVID-19 required hospitalization, and 10.6% died. The COVID-19 mortality rate of the study population was estimated to be more than 7% higher than that of the general population. 

Ultimately, it was found that vaso-occlusive pain was the most common presenting symptom. Moreover, acute chest syndrome and a lack of sickle cell disease-modifying treatment were present in all patients who died. Additional conditions associated with mortality from COVID-19 in this population included age greater than 50, chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and stroke. High creatinine, D-dimer, and lactate dehydrogenase were also associated with mortality. 

In conclusion, the researchers successfully produced a detailed risk stratification of patients with sickle cell disease and COVID-19. A call to action is made for similar studies to be conducted on larger cohorts to confirm the researchers’ findings [1].


[1] Minniti, C. P., Zaidi, A. U., Nouraie, M., Manwani, D., Crouch, G. D., Crouch, A. S., Callaghan, M. U., Carpenter, S., Jacobs, C., Han, J., Simon, J., Glassberg, J., Gordeuk, V. R., & Klings, E. S. (2021). Clinical predictors of poor outcomes in patients with sickle cell disease and COVID-19 infection. Blood Advances, 5(1), 207–215. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003456

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