Profile Of The Nigerian Sickle Cell Anaemia Patients Above 30 Years Of Age
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Haemoglobin S occurs with greatest prevalence in tropical Africa and clinicians have generally associated sickle cell disease with high morbidity and mortality.1-3 The heterozygous frequency in Nigeria is usually about 25% but in some areas it reaches 32.5%.4 Patients with sickle cell anaemia (SCA) constitute about 2 to 3% of the Nigerian population. While the disease appears benign in some patients, it runs a crippling course in others. There are a few reports of patients surviving till the fourth or fifth decade but this is a very rare occurrence in Nigeria. Thus, patients over the age of 30 years form a very small proportion of the patients. It has been implied that inherited and acquired factors influence the pathogenesis and clinical symptoms of the disease.1 Hence, this results either in death in the early years in some patients or cases discovered late in life as a result of chance survey 1 With improvement in the living standard and increasing availability of health care, it has been observed that more patients with sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria survive into adolescence and maturity, and they are able to reproduce and some are in gainful employment.