The basis of the association between asthma and an increased rate of pain among children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) is unclear. To provide evidence for a familial contribution to this observation, we tested the hypothesis that a family history of asthma is associated with an increased pain rate. Using data from the Cooperative Study for Sickle Cell Disease (CSSCD), we identified 211 children with SCA with asthma history of the parents and siblings. A sibling history of asthma was associated with a greater rate of pain (mean rate ratio = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.6-4.0; P < 0.001) when compared with children without a sibling history of asthma. Parental history of asthma was not associated an increase rate of pain (mean ratio = 1.51, 95% CI= 0.92-2.62; P = 0.12). Further studies are needed to examine genetic and/or environmental risks for asthma as potential contributors to pain in children with SCA.
Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.