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Blood Cells Mol Dis ; 92: 102627, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520713


BACKGROUND: Equipoise exists regarding sickle cell disease (SCD) as a risk factor for COVID-19 disease severity and variables that increase risk of COVID-19 severity in SCD. Given our health system's large SCD patient catchment, we analyzed our own experience in this regard. STUDY METHODS: Retrospective analysis of the clinical course and factors associated with need for hospitalization and ICU admission of SCD patients diagnosed with COVID-19 through the Northwell Health system from March 1 to Dec 31, 2020. RESULTS: Of 1098 patients with SCD, 3.3% were diagnosed with COVID-19. Overall rates of hospitalization, ICU admission, cohort mortality, and in-hospital mortality were 80%, 19%, 2.5%,and 3.1%, respectively. By multivariable analysis, hospitalization risk was decreased by 60% for every 1 g/dL increase in admission Hb. ICU admission risk was increased by 84% as a health care worker; increased by 45% for every 1000/uL increase in admission immature granulocyte count; and decreased by 17% with hydroxyurea use. DISCUSSION: High hospitalization rates are compatible with worsened severity upon COVID-19 infection in SCD compared to the general population. Patients should be placed on hydroxyurea to increase their Hb and perhaps lower their neutrophil counts. Health care workers with SCD may warrant special safety precautions.

Anemia, Sickle Cell/complications , COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Anemia, Sickle Cell/blood , Anemia, Sickle Cell/drug therapy , Anemia, Sickle Cell/genetics , Child , Female , Genotype , Health Personnel , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Hydroxyurea/therapeutic use , Intensive Care Units , Male , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Sickle Cell Trait/complications , beta-Thalassemia/complications
Cochrane Database Syst Rev ; 3: CD003427, 2021 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135064


BACKGROUND: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited disorders that result in haemoglobin abnormalities and other complications. Injury to the spleen, among other factors, contribute to persons with SCD being particularly susceptible to infection. Infants and very young children are especially vulnerable. The 'Co-operative Study of Sickle Cell Disease' observed an incidence rate for pneumococcal septicaemia of 10 per 100 person-years in children under the age of three years. Vaccines, including customary pneumococcal vaccines, may be of limited use in this age group. Therefore, prophylactic penicillin regimens may be advisable for this population. This is an update of a Cochrane Review which was first published in 2002, and previously updated, most recently in 2017.  OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of antibiotic prophylaxis against pneumococcus in children with SCD receiving antibiotic prophylaxis compared to those without in relation to: 1. incidence of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection; 2. mortality (as reported in the included studies); 3. drug-related adverse events (as reported in the included studies) to the individual and the community; 4. the impact of discontinuing at various ages on incidence of infection and mortality. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register, which is comprised of references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and also two clinical trials registries: and the WHO International Registry Platform (not in 2020 given access issues relating to Covid-19 pandemic). Additionally, we carried out hand searching of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings. Date of the most recent search: 25 January 2021. SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing prophylactic antibiotics to prevent pneumococcal infection in children with SCD with placebo, no treatment or a comparator drug. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: The standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane were used. Both authors independently extracted data and assessed trial quality. The authors used the GRADE criteria to assess the certainty of the evidence. MAIN RESULTS: Six trials were identified by the searches, of which three trials were eligible for inclusion. A total of 880 children, who were between three months to five years of age at randomization were included. The included studies were conducted in centres in the USA and in Kingston, Jamaica. In trials that investigated initiation of penicillin on risk of pneumococcal infection, the odds ratio was 0.37 (95% confidence interval 0.16 to 0.86) (two trials, 457 children) (low-certainty evidence), while for withdrawal the odds ratio was 0.49 (95% confidence interval 0.09 to 2.71) (one trial, 400 children) (low-certainty evidence). Adverse drug effects were rare and minor. Rates of pneumococcal infection were found to be relatively low in children over the age of five years. Overall, the certainty of the evidence for all outcomes was judged to be low. The results from the risk of bias assessment undertaken identified two domains in which the risk of bias was considered to be high, these were incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) (two trials) and allocation concealment (selection bias) (one trial). Domains considered to have a low risk of bias for all three trials were selective reporting (reporting bias) and blinding (performance and detection bias). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The evidence examined was determined to be of low certainty and suggests that prophylactic penicillin significantly reduces risk of pneumococcal infection in children with homozygous SCD, and is associated with minimal adverse reactions. Further research may help to determine the ideal age to safely withdraw penicillin.

Anemia, Sickle Cell/complications , Antibiotic Prophylaxis , Penicillins/therapeutic use , Pneumococcal Infections/prevention & control , Age Factors , Anemia, Sickle Cell/genetics , Antibiotic Prophylaxis/adverse effects , Bias , Child, Preschool , Hemoglobin SC Disease/complications , Homozygote , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Medication Adherence , Penicillins/adverse effects , Pneumococcal Infections/epidemiology , Pneumococcal Infections/mortality , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Streptococcus pneumoniae , beta-Thalassemia/complications
Eur J Haematol ; 105(5): 519-523, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615363


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a rapidly evolving public health problem. The severity of COVID-19 cases reported hitherto has varied greatly from asymptomatic to severe pneumonia and thromboembolism with subsequent mortality. An improved understanding of risk factors for adverse clinical outcomes may shed some light on novel personalized approaches to optimize clinical care in vulnerable populations. Emerging trends in the United States suggest possibly higher mortality rates of COVID-19 among African Americans, although detailed epidemiological study data is pending. Sickle cell disease (SCD) disproportionately affects Black/African Americans in the United States as well as forebearers from sub-Saharan Africa, the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean, and Central America), and some Mediterranean countries. The carrier frequency for SCD is high among African Americans. This article underscores the putative risks that may be associated with COVID-19 pneumonia in sickle cell trait as well as potential opportunities for individualized medical care in the burgeoning era of personalized medicine.

COVID-19/complications , Sickle Cell Trait/complications , African Americans/genetics , Anemia, Sickle Cell/complications , Anemia, Sickle Cell/epidemiology , Anemia, Sickle Cell/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Humans , Pandemics , Precision Medicine , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sickle Cell Trait/epidemiology , Sickle Cell Trait/genetics , United States/epidemiology