Effects of nutritional intake on disease severity in children with sickle cell disease.
Nutr J. 2016 ;15(1):46. Epub 2016 Apr 30. PMID: 27130184
BACKGROUND: Children with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) may show growth failure in comparison to healthy peers. Many factors as hematological status, endocrine and/or metabolic dysfunction, and nutritional status, may play an important role in growth failure. The aim of this study was to assess whether impaired growth and nutritional intake can affect SCD severity during childhood.
METHODS: We conducted an observational study on children with SCD referring to our clinic for routine follow-up visits in a 6-month period. We collected information on weight, height and body mass index (BMI) and calculated their respective standardized scores (z). The nutritional intake was assessed through the last 24-h recall intake of total calories, macro- (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) and micronutrients (calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamins B1, PP, A, C, B2). Disease severity was assessed through total hemoglobin (Hb) and fetal hemoglobin (HbF), and lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) levels, and through the total number and days of hospitalizations, as well as the lifetime episodes of acute chest syndrome (ACS).
RESULTS: Twenty nine children (14 males, 15 females) with SCD were enrolled; their mean age was 9.95 years (SD 3.50, min 3.72, max 17.18). Z-weight and z-BMI were significantly directly related to total Hb. Food intake resulted significantly unbalanced in terms of total calorie intake, macro- and micronutrients, especially calcium, iron, vitamin B1 and C. Low intake of calcium and vitamin B1 weresignificantly inversely correlated with number and days of hospitalizations per year. Protein, lipid, phosphorus, and vitamin PP intakes resulted adequate but were inversely correlated with number and days of hospitalizations. Carbohydrate, lipid, iron, phosphorus, vitamins B1 and B2 intakes were significantly inversely correlated to HbF levels.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that, in our population, inadequate nutritional intake, weight and BMI have a significant impact on SCD severity indices.