Seasonal Variations in Frequencies of Acute Vaso-Occlusive Morbidities among Sickle Cell Anaemia Patients in Northern Nigeria
- Corresponding Author:
- Sagir G. Ahmed
Department of Haematology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital
PMB 3452, Kano, Kano State, Nigeria
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: December 22, 2011; Accepted Date: March 26, 2012; Published Date: April 01, 2012
Citation: Ahmed SG, Kagu MB, Abjah UA, Bukar AA (2012) Seasonal Variations in Frequencies of Acute Vaso-Occlusive Morbidities among Sickle Cell Anaemia Patients in Northern Nigeria. J Blood Disord Transfus 3:120. doi: 10.4172/2155-9864.1000120
Copyright: © 2012 Ahmed SG, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: Nigeria is the most populous black nation with the heaviest burden of Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA). The climate in the north is characterized by a short rainy season and a long dry season that can be subdivided into a cold and dusty harmattan season and a hot non-harmattan dry season. We studied the impact of seasonal variations of climatic factors on the frequencies of acute vaso-occlusive morbidities, including VasoOcclusive Crisis (VOC), Acute Chest Syndrome (ACS), priapism and stroke among patients with SCA in northern Nigeria.
Methods: This is a six-year prospective study conducted from 2005 to 2010 in university teaching hospitals of Maiduguri and Kano cities of northern Nigeria. Consecutive patients with SCA who presented with VOC, ACS, priapism and stroke were diagnosed, recruited and enumerated. The monthly and seasonal frequencies of each morbidity (VOC, ACS, priapism or stroke) during the period of study were calculated and graphically evaluated.
Results: The frequencies of VOC showed 3 peaks: during the harmattan dry season in January, during the non-harmattan dry season in April and during the rainy season in August. The frequencies of ACS showed a peak during the harmattan dry season in December. The frequencies of priapism showed a peak during the nonharmattan dry season in April. The frequencies of stroke showed a peak during the rainy season in July/August.
Conclusion: The frequencies of acute vaso-occlusive morbidities in SCA patients could be adversely affected by seasonal variations in climatic factors. There is need for patients and care givers to be adequately educated on how to mitigate the adverse effects of weather on SCA. Moreover, governmental and non-governmental organizations should take seasonal variations of climatic factors into consideration when drafting health care plan for patients with SCA.