Lack of mortality in 22 children with sickle cell anemia and severe malarial anemia

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Retrospective studies suggest that there is high mortality in children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) and severe malaria. We assessed mortality in Ugandan children with severe malarial anemia (SMA, n = 232) or cerebral malaria (CM, n = 267) by sickle cell hemoglobin genotype. Admission and 2-year follow-up mortality did not differ among children with SMA who had homozygous form of sickle cell hemoglobin (HbSS) versus normal form of adult hemoglobin (admission, 0/22, 0%, vs. 1/208, 0.5%; follow-up, 1/22, 4.5%; 7/207, 3.4%, respectively; all P > 0.6). The single child with CM and HbSS survived. The study findings highlight the need for large prospective studies of malaria-related mortality in children with SCA.

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