Navigation Links
Sickle Cell Disease Pain Can Occur Daily and Is Much More Severe Than Previously Thought

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A new prospective study of pain in adults with sickle cell disease finds that daily pain is far more prevalent and severe than previous large studies have indicated.

Authors of the study gave diaries to 232 sickle cell disease patients to record daily pain and indicate whether they used hospital emergency or unscheduled ambulatory care for their pain. Previous estimates about sickle cell pain assumed that if patients didn't go to the hospital or seek medical care for pain, they didn't have pain.

Previous sickle cell treatments also were based on the number of visits to hospitals to relieve pain.

"The major finding of our study," said Wally R. Smith, MD, who directed the new study, "was that pain in sickle cell disease is a daily phenomenon and that patients are at home mostly struggling with their pain rather than coming into the hospital or emergency department."

The study, "A Prospective Study of Daily Pain in Adults with Sickle Cell Disease," is published in the Jan. 15, 2008, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Sickle cell disease is a group of hereditary red blood cell disorders. In the United States, sickle cell syndromes are present in 1 in 400 African Americans. The disease is also found in high frequency in individuals from certain areas of the Mediterranean basin, the Middle East, and India.

Sickle cell disease is caused by a mutation in a red blood cell gene that changes smooth, round blood cells into a sickle-shaped or C-shaped cells that are stiff and sticky and tend to clot in blood vessels. When they get stuck in small blood vessels, the sickle cells block blood flow to the limbs and organs and can cause pain, serious infections, and organ damage, especially in the lungs, kidneys, spleen and brain. Because of the potential for damage to organs, people with sickle cell disease have shorter-than-average life expectancy.

Hydroxyurea is the only FDA-approved treatment specifically for the disease. Other drugs can help symptoms and complications of the disease. Bone marrow transplantation can be curative.

Sickle cell disease causes both acute (rapid, severe, short-term) and chronic (long-lasting) pain. In sickle cell disease, the acute pain episodes are called crises. Previous studies of sickle cell pain have focused on crises.

In the current study, over half of the sickle cell disease patients completing up to six months of pain diaries reported having pain on a majority of days. Almost one-third had pain nearly every day.

"I believe that this study could change the way people view the pain of the disease. It is a chronic pain syndrome," said Dr. Smith. "And the study results have implications for medical care, and research. We need more drugs to prevent the underlying processes that cause pain in this disease. And we need better treatments to reduce the chronic pain and suffering that these patients go through."

Annals of Internal Medicine ( is one of the most widely cited peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. The journal has been published for 80 years and accepts only 7 percent of the original research studies submitted for publication. Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians (, the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States.

ACP members include 124,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults.

SOURCE American College of Physicians
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Anticlotting drug found to be safe in sickle cell patients
2. New Kind of Stem Cells Reverse Sickle Cell Anemia
3. Children with sickle cell disease, silent strokes show some relief with blood transfusions
4. Smoking may strongly increase long-term risk of eye disease
5. Pot bellies linked to early signs of cardiovascular disease
6. Anemia and tropical diseases; Is pharmacogenomics ready for the clinic?
7. Radiologists encouraged to look beyond cancer for clinically unseen diseases
8. Use of certain lipid measures not more effective in predicting coronary heart disease
9. Role seen for cannabis in helping to alleviate allergic skin disease
10. New prion protein discovered by Canadian scientists may offer insight into mad cow disease
11. Effectiveness of mouse breeds that mimic Alzheimers disease symptoms questioned
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... private messaging application, announced today a significant contract that will provide its award-winning ... plans to build on the growing success of its Relay program, IBX Wire™, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... e-con Systems Inc., a leading embedded design services company ... industry’s first RGB-IR pixel format camera with a USB 3.0 interface and e-CAM40_CUMI4682_MOD, ... of UVC USB 3.0 cameras, is based on the 1/3-inch OV4682 - a 4-megapixel ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... A child without ... why SmileCareClub , the leading remote invisible aligner system, has joined with ... otherwise go without it. For each aligner treatment plan purchased, SmileCareClub will donate one ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... Protein is ... the body, including muscle, bone, and blood. But how much protein does the average ... than it might seem, according to the October 2015 issue of Harvard Men's ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... targets the unique health needs of new moms. Postnatal Omega-3, which has ... ), utilizes Nordic Naturals’ exclusive, new, ultra-concentrated omega-3 oil. This breakthrough ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... LA JOLLA, Calif. , Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... to revolutionize the practice of medicine, announced today the ... powered clinical research project that has the potential to ... San Diego, CA , at HLI,s ... open in 2016 in other US and International cities. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... PARK, Calif. , Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of up to $100 million over five years ... Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of ... or treat acute or delayed effects of radiation ... , a division of SRI International will provide ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... MILFORD, Mass. , Oct. 13, 2015  SeraCare ... diagnostics manufacturers, announced today that the company,s precision medicine ... growing line of reference materials for next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based ... Mutation Mix-I (AF1-10) contains the same mixture of mutations ... the previously launched AF20 mix , but is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: