Does the clinical presentation of sickle cell disease (SCD) vary among age groups?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Although hematologic changes indicative of the disorder are evident as early as the age of 10 weeks, clinical characteristics of SCD generally do not appear until the second half of the first year of life, when fetal Hb levels decline sufficiently for abnormalities caused by HbS to manifest. SCD then persists for the entire lifespan. After age 10 years, rates of painful crises decrease, but rates of complications increase.

The median age at the time of renal failure in patients with SCD is 23.1 years, the median survival time after the diagnosis of ESRD is about 4 years, and the median age of death is 27 years, despite dialysis treatment. [24]


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