A modeling study published in the journal Plos Medicine suggests that the global burden of sickle cell anemia (SCA) is increasing, and that public health interventions, particularly in low-and middle-income countries, are needed to help reduce SCA-associated mortality. Using demographic data and nation-specific allele frequencies for HbS, researchers estimated that the global number of SCA-affected births would increase from 305,800 in 2010 to 404,200 in 2050. Furthermore, the model suggested that Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and India accounted for 57% of these births in 2010, and that by 2050, rates of SCA-affected births would further increase in Nigeria and the DRC, but decrease in India. Implementation of basic health interventions for SCA may lead to substantial reductions in SCA-associated mortality among children under the age of five.
1. Piel FB, Hay SI, Gupta S, Weatherall DJ, Williams TN. Global Burden of Sickle Cell Anaemia in Children under Five, 2010-2050: Modelling Based on Demographics, Excess Mortality, and Interventions. PLoS Med 2013,10:e1001484.