Morbidity and mortality in chronically transfused subjects with Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease: A report from the multi-center study of iron overload
A natural history study was conducted in 142 Thalassemic (Thal), 199 transfused Sickle Cell Disease (Tx-SCD, n = 199), and 64 non-Tx-SCD subjects to describe the frequency of iron-related morbidity and mortality. Subjects recruited from 31 centers in the US, Canada or the UK were similar with respect to age (overall: 25 ± 11 years, mean ± SD) and gender (52% female). We found that Tx-SCD subjects were hospitalized more frequently compared with Thai or non-Tx-SCD (P < 0.001). Among those hospitalized, Tx-SCD adult subjects were more likely to be unemployed compared with Thal (RR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.0-2.5) or non-Tx-SCD (RR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.3-7.3). There was a positive relationship between the severity of iron overload, assessed by serum ferritin, and the frequency of hospitalizations (r = 0.20; P = 0.009). Twenty-three deaths were reported (6 Thal, 17 Tx-SCD) in 23.5 ± 10 months of follow-up. Within the Tx-SCD group, those who died began transfusion (25.3 vs. 12.4 years, P < 0.001) and chelation therapy later (26.8 vs. 14.2 years, P = 0.01) compared with those who survived. The unadjusted death rate in Thal was lower (2.2/100 person years) compared with that in Tx-SCD (7.0/100 person years; RR = 0.38: 95% CI 0.12-0.99). However, no difference was observed when age at death was considered. Despite improvements in therapy, death rate in this contemporary sample of transfused adult subjects with Thal or SCD is 3 times greater than the general US population. Long term follow-up of this unique cohort of subjects will be helpful in further defining the relationship of chronic, heavy iron overload to morbidity and mortality. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Fung, Ellen B.; Harmatz, Paul; Milet, Meredith; Ballas, Samir K.; De Castro, Laura; Hagar, Ward; Owen, William; Olivieri, Nancy; Smith-Whitley, Kim; Darbari, Deepika; Wang, Winfred; Vichinsky, Elliott; Balasa, Vinod; Bellevue, Rita; Cassela, James; Coates, Thomas; Davis, Charles; Giardina, Patricia; Hilliard, Lee; Hord, Jeffrey; Jeng, Michael; Kirby, Melody; Kutlar, Abdullah; McClain, Kenneth; Mentzer, William; Mignaca, Robert; Pegelow, Charles; Porter, John; Ramirez, Gloria; Ranalli, Mark; Rao, Sreedhar; Scher, Charles; Shafer, Frank; and Smith, Mary Gail, "Morbidity and mortality in chronically transfused subjects with Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease: A report from the multi-center study of iron overload" (2007). The Center For Sickle Cell Disease Faculty Publications. 162.