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OBJECTIVES - The objective was to identify clinical, social, and environmental risk factors for increased emergency department (ED) use in children with sickle cell disease (SCD).
METHODS - This study was a secondary analysis of ED utilization data from the international multicenter Silent Cerebral Infarct Transfusion (SIT) trial. Between December 2004 and June 2010, baseline demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from children with SCD participating in the trial. The primary outcome was the frequency of ED visits for pain. A secondary outcome was the frequency of ED visits for acute chest syndrome.
RESULTS - The sample included 985 children from the United States, Canada, England, and France, for a total of 2,955 patient-years of data. There were 0.74 ED visits for pain per patient-year. A past medical history of asthma was associated with an increased risk of ED utilization for both pain (rate ratio [RR] = 1.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.04 to 1.58) and acute chest syndrome (RR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.03 to 2.49). Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in the home was associated with 73% more ED visits for acute chest syndrome (RR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.09 to 2.74). Each $10,000 increase in household income was associated with 5% fewer ED visits for pain (RR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.91 to 1.00, p = 0.05). The association between low income and ED utilization was not significantly different in the United States versus countries with universal health care (p = 0.51).
CONCLUSIONS - Asthma and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke are potentially modifiable risk factors for greater ED use in children with SCD. Low income is associated with greater ED use for SCD pain in countries with and without universal health care.
© 2012 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
Prior studies of asthma in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) were based on reports of a doctor-diagnosis of asthma with limited description of asthma features. Doctor-diagnoses of asthma may represent asthma or wheezing unrelated to asthma. Objectives of this study were to determine if asthma characteristics are present in adults with a doctor-diagnosis of asthma and/or wheezing, and to examine the relationship between doctor-diagnosis of asthma, wheezing and SCD morbidity. This was an observational cohort study of 114 adults with SCD who completed respiratory symptom questionnaires and had serum IgE measurements. A subset of 79 participants completed pulmonary function testing. Survival analysis was based on a mean prospective follow-up of 28 months and data were censored at the time of death or loss to follow-up. Adults reporting a doctor-diagnosis of asthma (N = 34) were more likely to have features of asthma including wheeze, eczema, family history of asthma, and an elevated IgE level (all P < 0.05). However, there was no difference in pain or ACS rate, lung function, or risk of death between adults with and without a doctor-diagnosis of asthma. In contrast, adults who reported recurrent, severe episodes of wheezing (N = 34), regardless of asthma, had twice the rates of pain and ACS, decreased lung function and increased risk of death compared with adults without recurrent, severe wheezing. Asthma features were not associated with recurrent, severe wheezing. Our data suggest that wheezing in SCD may occur independently of asthma and is a marker of disease severity.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
BACKGROUND - A doctor's diagnosis of asthma is associated with increased morbidity (pain and acute chest syndrome [ACS]) among children with sickle cell disease (SCD). An association between IgE levels and asthma and morbidity has not been investigated in children with SCD.
OBJECTIVE - We tested the hypothesis that elevated total and allergen-specific IgE levels are associated with asthma and SCD morbidity in children with SCD.
METHODS - A cross-sectional study of children with SCD who participated in the Silent Cerebral Infarct Trial was conducted. Logistic regression and negative binomial regression were used to investigate potential associations of total and allergen-specific IgE levels with asthma diagnosis and SCD morbidity, both confirmed by medical record review. Elevation of total IgE level was defined as age-adjusted and sex-adjusted IgE level exceeding the 90th percentile compared with a nonatopic reference population. IgE antibody positivity to Alternaria alternata (mold), Blattellagermanica (cockroach), and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (dust mite) was assessed by ImmunoCAP analysis.
RESULTS - Children with SCD (140 with asthma; 381 without asthma) were evaluated. Elevations in total IgE level (P = .04) and IgE antibody specific for Alternaria alternata (P = .0003), Blattella germanica (P = .008), and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (P = .01) were associated with asthma. ACS (P = .048) but not pain (P = .20) was associated with total IgE level, but neither was associated with specific IgE levels.
CONCLUSION - Significantly increased levels of total and allergen-specific IgE levels are associated with asthma in SCD. High IgE levels are a risk factor for ACS but not pain rates.
Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
INTRODUCTION - Pain in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) is the leading cause of acute care visits and hospitalizations. Pain episodes are a risk factor for the development of acute chest syndrome (ACS), contributing to morbidity and mortality in SCD. Few strategies exist to prevent this complication.
METHODS - We performed a before-and-after prospective multi-modal intervention. All children with SCD admitted for pain during the 2-year study period were eligible. The multi-modal intervention included standardized admission orders, monthly house staff education, and one-on-one patient and caregiver education.
RESULTS - A total of 332 admissions for pain occurred during the study period; 159 before the intervention and 173 during the intervention. The ACS rate declined by 50% during the intervention period 25% (39 of 159) to 12% (21 of 173); P = 0.003. Time to ACS development increased from 0.8 days (0.03-5.2) to 1.7 days (0.03-5.8); P = 0.047. No significant difference was found in patient demographics, intravenous fluid amount administered, frequency of normal saline bolus administration, or cumulative opioid amount delivered in the first 24 hr. Patient controlled analgesia-use was more common after the intervention 52% (82 of 159) versus 73% (126 of 173; P = 0.0001) and fewer patients required changes in analgesic dosing within the first 24 hr after admission (26%, 42 of 159 vs. 16%, 28 of 173; P = 0.015).
CONCLUSIONS - A multi-modal intervention to educate and subsequently change physician's behavior likely decreased the rate of ACS in the setting of a single teaching hospital.
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
A physician diagnosis of asthma in children and adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) has been associated with increased rates of pain and acute chest syndrome (ACS) episodes and premature death. Despite the clinical significance of a doctor's diagnosis of asthma in individuals with SCD, the criteria for a physician diagnosis of asthma are not well defined. Many features of asthma are common in individuals with SCD, including symptoms of wheezing, obstructive lung disease and airway hyper-responsiveness. However, it is not clear if these signs and symptoms of asthma reflect a physician diagnosis of asthma, or if these asthma features are related to SCD. Further complicating the diagnosis of asthma in children with SCD is the significant overlap in clinical manifestations between an asthma exacerbation and an ACS episode. Evidence supporting the concept that asthma and SCD are separate co-morbid conditions includes a similar prevalence of asthma between children with SCD and those in the general population and the observation that asthma is inherited in a familial pattern in the families of children with SCD. In contrast, there is significant evidence that asthma-like features may be associated with SCD without a diagnosis of asthma, including a higher than expected prevalence of airway hyper-responsiveness and obstructive lung disease. Regardless of whether SCD and asthma are distinct or overlapping co-morbid conditions, we recommend a systematic and complete evaluation of asthma when the diagnosis is suspected or when patients have multiple episodes of pain or ACS.