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May 31, 1976

Trace Elements in Sickle Cell Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine (Dr Prasad), and Grace Hospital, Detroit (Drs Prasad and Ortega); the Veterans Administration Hospital, Allen Park, Mich (Drs Prasad and Oberleas); and the Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Drs Brewer and Schoomaker).

JAMA. 1976;235(22):2396-2398. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260480016021

Trace elements in 84 adult patients (38 men and 46 women) with sickle cell disease (SCD) were reflected in clinical and biochemical data. Height was retarded in six men and five women. Eighty percent of the SCD patients in this sample were below the 50th percentile from the normal mean for weight. Twenty-eight men showed a lack of facial and body hair, and five additional subjects showed only scanty facial hair. Whereas zinc in plasma, red blood cells, and hair was decreased, the excretion of zinc in urine was increased in SCD patients as compared to the controls. We believe that one of the mechanisms accounting for zinc deficiency in SCD may be hyperzincuria and that growth retardation and hypogonadism in men so commonly seen in SCD may be related to zinc deficiency.

(JAMA 235:2396-2398, 1976)