Iron deficiency in sickle cell anaemia patients in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
A cross sectional descriptive study was done to determine the prevalence of iron deficiency and possible contributing factors in sickle cell anaemic patients. One hundred haemoglobin -SS children aged between six months to ten years inclusive were recruited in the study.Patients were selected using a simple random sampling technique. Five milliliter of venous blood was taken from all children for serum Ferritin, serum Iron, Total Iron binding Capacity, Full Blood Count and a peripheral smear for red blood cell morphology. Urine and stool were also taken and examined for the presence of red blood cells, ova and occult blood respectively. A structured questionnaire was used to record social demographic data. The prevalence of iron deficiency was 13%. There were more females (53%) than males (47%) with iron deficiency. The difference was not statistically significant (p=0.208). Children aged less than five years (16.2%) were more iron deficient than those above five years (10.5%). The difference was not statistically significant (p=0.397). Dietary intake, presence of Hookworm and level of haemoglobin concentration did not significantly influence the body Iron status (p- value was 0.589 and 0.491 respectively). Iron deficiency occurs in patients with sickle cell anaemia. Age, sex, the amount of iron ingested in food and the presence of Hookworm infection did not appear to influence the body iron status. Further studies need to be carried out to determine the role of iron therapy in patients whose peripheral smear show Hypochromic microcytic red blood cells.
Tanzania Medical Journal Keywords: Sickle cell anaemia, iron deficiency
Vol. 19 (1) 2004