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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Sep;60(9):1482-6. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24557. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Sickle cell disease related mortality in the United States (1999-2009).

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Division of Pediatric Hematology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.



Little is known about the national outcome of children and adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) given contemporary care.


We investigated the number of deaths, standardized crude and age-adjusted mortality rates, and causes of death among individuals with SCD across the United States during 1999-2009 according to death certificates by using a publicly available website ( Data were compared to mortality during 1979-1998.


When compared to 1979-1998, mortality significantly decreased by 61% in infants <1 year of age, by 67% in children aged 1-4 years, and by 22-35% in children aged 5-19 years. After 19 years of age, mortality rates increased from 0.6 in the 15-19 year group to 1.4/100,000 in the 20-24 year group, corresponding to the transition period from pediatric to adult medical care, and this increase was similar during 1979-1998. Although the age groups with the highest mortality were 35-44 years for males and 45-54 years for females, there was a tendency for longer survival because there were more deaths among those individuals 55-74 years of age compared to previous years. For all individuals, the causes of deaths were cardiac disease (31.6%), respiratory (28.1%), renal (16.4%), infectious (14.4%), neurologic (11.9%), and gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary (9.2%) in nature. Cancer was the cause of death in <1%.


Mortality during childhood has decreased significantly. However, the transition period from pediatric to adult care is critical. Risk-reduction, monitoring, and early treatment intervention of cardiovascular disease in adults is warranted.


mortality; sickle cell disease; survival; transition

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