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For people with sickle cell disease (SCD), pain is the most common reason for visiting the emergency department. A reduction in pain could drastically improve quality of life for these individuals. This study, published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, examines the relationship between vitamin D supplementation and pain related to SCD.

This study relied on a retrospective chart review of 110 patients with SCD, aged 8 to 16. All patients had at least one pain-related emergency department visit in the past six years. A total of 45% of the patients were found to be vitamin D deficient. Furthermore, patients who supplemented with vitamin D had significantly lower emergency department visit rates once they reached a sufficient range (≥ 30 ng/mL).

The researchers concluded that normalizing vitamin D levels may be one way of decreasing pain-related emergency department visits. They assert that screening for and treating vitamin D deficiency could provide major relief to individuals dealing with SCD [1].


[1] Hood, A. M., Quinn, C. T., King, C. D., Shook, L. M., Peugh, J. L., & Crosby, L. E. (2020). Vitamin D supplementation and pain-related emergency department visits in children with sickle cell disease. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 49, 102342. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102342

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