Investigators conducted an extensive literature review on clinical COVID-19 outcomes in patients with SCD or SCT to better navigate treatment during the pandemic.
New data from an extensive literature review found that while most studies reported mild to moderate COVID-19-related disease course in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) or sickle cell trait (SCT), the literature suggests that SCD is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, unless compared to controls with similar comorbidities and end-organ damage.
Lead investigator, Wouter Hoogenboom, PhD, Research Fellow, Department of Radiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, explained that many of the risk factors for a poor COVID-19 outcome were the same between individuals with sickle cell disease or trait and the general population.
"And on top of that," he added "people with sickle cell also have sickle cell related symptoms, like pain crises, and acute chest syndrome, that also add to their vulnerability."
This study isn't the first one that the investigators conducted regarding the relationship between COVID-19 and sickle cell, according to Tim Duong, PhD, Professor, Vice Chair for Research Department of Radiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center.
Their previous study that examined a cohort of patients from the Bronx who had COVID-19 and sickle cell disease or trait, produced mixed conclusions.
"So, what we found as we were doing our study was that the literature on the effects of COVID-19 on sickle cell disease and trait are scarce and controversial," Duong said, "with some papers reporting positive effects, or positive outcome or better outcome, than the general population, some reported worse outcome than the general population."
With their latest study, the investigators decided to perform a critical appraisal of the literature in order to further understand and integrate the available data on the subject.