IQ Research Journal-Open Access-ISSN:2790-4296

The Effects Of Nutrition On The Frequency Of Sickle Cell Crisis In Children



Authors: Tumi Humphred Simoben1, Ngwang Mercy Tan2. Paper Title: The Effects Of Nutrition On the The Frequency Of Sickle Cell Crisis In Children. IQ Research Journal of IQ res. j. (2022)1(12): pp 01-23. Vol. 001, Issue 012 12-2022, pp. 01968-01991


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic genetic blood disorder resulting from the inheritance of altered hemoglobin genes (AS) or the same hemoglobin genes (SS) from both parents. In Cameroon, the disease prevalence is estimated at 0.6% of the general population. Macro and micro nutrient deficiencies play an important role in not only meeting caloric needs but also reducing painful episodes, clinical complication and growth abnormalities. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of nutrition education on the frequency of sickle cell crisis in children with SCD. To this effect, we carried out a prospective cohort study with a sample size of 50 SCD children. Recruitment was done using the consecutive exhaustive sampling method. The children were divided into two groups: Group A received folic acid supplements and nutritional education while Group B received just folic acid supplements. Nutritional education was carried out within a period of three months based on responses given from a retrospective questionnaire. Biological, anthropometric and clinical parameters were collected before and after nutritional education. Dietary data was obtained using the 24-hour dietary recall and the food frequency questionnaire. Pearson chi square test was used for the comparison of proportions and the student test was used to measure the association between the different variables. Analysis of the correlation between dietary intake and hemoglobin (Hgb) levels was carried out to determine the impact of nutrition on the occurrence anemic crisis in Group A participants before and after nutrition education. From these analyses, we observed that there was no significant (P< 0.001) deference between the two parameters in children who consumed iron rich foods. Despite this, a greater number of children who consumed iron rich foods, had Hgb levels >7g/dl. Also, the relative risk (RR) of having a sickle cell crisis after nutrition education in the study group over the control group was 0.12 (< 1). This implies, the risk of crisis was 0.88 times more in Group B compared to Group A. It is evident from our results that nutrition education can reduce sickle cell disease severity and thus reduce the frequency of sickle cell crises in children.