HEALTH-RELATED QUALITY OF LIFE IN SICKLE CELL DISEASE PATIENTS IN AKRE, IRAQI KURDISTAN
Background: Sickle cell disease is an important health problem in Akre- Iraqi Kurdistan, and this study aimed to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in this condition.
Patients and Methods: A total of 63 patients registered as sickle cell disease at Akre thalassemia center in Kurdistan, and an equivalent number of age and sex matched healthy individuals, were recruited. The patient records were retrieved and their clinical and laboratory findings reviewed. Children and adolescent had their HRQoL assessed using PedsQL 4.0 generic score, while the Medical outcome study 36 item short form (SF-36) was used for adults.
Results: The mean age ± SD of the enrolled patients was 15.43 ± 8.79 years, and included 44 females and 19 males. The overall mean HRQoL in both children and adults were significantly worse than respective healthy counterparts, and adults fared worse than children. Among the predictors of low quality life were the occurrence of painful episodes, transfusion frequency, S. Ferritin ≥ 2500 ng/ml , LDH ≥ 700 U/L, and avascular necrosis of femoral head (P= 0.02 , 0.007 , 0.012 , 0.025 and 0.002 respectively).
Conclusions: Both children and adults with sickle cell disease at Akre thalassemia center had worse quality of life compared to their healthy counterparts. Several predictors for a worse HRQoL were identified, in the studied cohort. Further studies from other centers are necessary to have a more comprehensive view of the HRQoL in Iraqi Kurdistan.