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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 13;8(6):e66004. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066004. Print 2013.

Male gender, increased blood viscosity, body mass index and triglyceride levels are independently associated with systemic relative hypertension in sickle cell anemia.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale UMR 665, Hôpital Ricou, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Pointe-à-Pitre, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.


Patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA) have usually lower diastolic, systolic and mean blood pressure (BP) than the general population. However, BP values ≥120/70 mmHg considerably increase the risk for acute and chronic complications in SCA. The aim of this study was to identify biological factors associated with relative hypertension in adults with SCA. We compared the hematological, lipid and hemolytic profiles, as well as blood viscosity, between SCA patients with normal BP (<120/70 mmHg, n = 54) and those with relative hypertension (BP≥120/70 mmHg, n = 43). Our results demonstrated that male gender (OR: 3.49; 95%CI 1.20 to 10.16, p<0.05), triglycerides (OR: 9.19; 95% CI 2.29 to 36.95, p<0.01), blood viscosity (OR: 1.35; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.81, p<0.05) and body mass index (OR: 1.37; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.64, p<0.01) were independent risks factors for relative hypertension in SCA. No association was found between the BP status and the positive history of painful vaso-occlusive crisis or acute chest syndrome. An association between triglycerides level and the occurrence of these two major acute complications was detected. Our study suggests that male gender, increased triglycerides level, BMI and blood viscosity could increase the risk for developing relative hypertension in SCA. In addition, our results support a role of moderately elevated triglycerides in the pathophysiology of vaso-occlusive events.

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