What is the Role of Sickle Cell Disease in Pregnancy?

sickle cell disease and pregnancy complications
sickle cell disease and pregnancy complications

More moms with sickle cell disease (SCD) face pregnancy problems like cesarean delivery and preeclampsia compared to those with sickle cell trait (SCD trait), according to a study at the 65th ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition. But, if you have the SCD trait, you’re more likely to deal with low birth weight and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Researchers from the University of Missouri at Kansas City looked back at around 30,000 patient visits in the Health Facts database.

The study looked at different types of SCD, like hemoglobin SS, hemoglobin S beta 0 thalassemia, hemoglobin S beta + thalassemia, and hemoglobin SC disease. They also considered SCD trait-hemoglobin AS.

The numbers reveal that patients with SCD have higher chances of having a cesarean delivery (76.43% vs. 13.76%) and preeclampsia (75.92% vs. 5.43%) compared to patients with the SCD trait.

Additionally, patients with SCD experience more cerebrovascular accidents, sepsis, septic shock, and VOC incidence compared to those with SCD trait.

About a quarter (25.00%) of patients with the SCD trait have asymptomatic bacteriuria, while it’s only 0.08% in SCD patients. Urinary tract infection rates are also higher in SCD trait patients (0.02%) compared to SCD patients (0.00%).

When it comes to pregnancy complications like GDM, low birth weight, and preterm birth, the SCD trait group faces higher risks compared to the SCD group. Specifically, GDM is 3.09% in SCD trait patients compared to 0.00% in SCD patients. In SCD trait patients, there’s a 0.61% low birth weight rate versus 0.17% in SCD patients. Finally, preterm birth rates are 0.78% and 0.44% in SCD trait and SCD patients, respectively.


More information: Incidence of maternal and perinatal morbidity in sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait patients during pregnancy. Abstract #3898. Presented at the 65th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition; December 9-12; San Diego, California.

Source: Blood

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