Burden of disease, treatment utilization, and the impact on education and employment in patients with sickle cell disease: A comparative analysis of high- and low- to middle-income countries for the international Sickle Cell World Assessment Survey

Ifeyinwa Osunkwo, John James, Fuad El-Rassi, Alecia Nero, Caterina P. Minniti, Cassandra Trimnell, Jincy Paulose, Nicholas Ramscar, Tom Bailey, Olivera Rajkovic-Hooley, Biree Andemariam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The international Sickle Cell World Assessment Survey (SWAY) reported a high impact of sickle cell disease (SCD) on patients' daily lives globally. In this study, we analyzed whether the reported burden differed between patients from the USA (n = 384) and other high-income (HI; n = 820) or low- to middle-income (LMI; n = 941) countries. We assessed symptoms and complications, incidence/management of vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs), treatment utilization/satisfaction, and the impact of SCD on education/employment. Certain symptoms (bone aches, insomnia, and joint stiffness) and complications (swollen/painful fingers/toes, gallstones, vision problems, blood clots, and asthma) were reported proportionally more by patients in the USA than in the HI/LMI countries. Self-reported VOCs were more common (mean [SD]: 7.1 [5.7] vs. 5.5 [8.9] and 4.4 [4.6] in the previous 12 months) and were managed more often by hospitalization (52% vs. 24% and 32%) in the USA than the HI and LMI countries. A higher proportion of patients from the USA than the HI/LMI countries reported a negative impact of SCD on their employment/schooling. Although high overall satisfaction with current treatments was reported globally, most patients indicated a strong desire for alternative pain medications. There are likely several reasons for the relatively high patient-reported burden in the USA group compared with the HI/LMI countries, including an older population and differences in newborn screening programs and pediatric/adult transition of care. It is clear that there is an urgent need for improved understanding and management of SCD globally, not just in the USA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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