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Global Health
August 21, 2013

Number of Children With Sickle Cell Anemia Increasing Worldwide

JAMA. 2013;310(7):682. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.220225

The number of children born with sickle cell anemia is increasing around the world, with the majority in sub-Saharan Africa and India, and the number of newborns with the condition could reach almost half a million by 2050, according to a report from an international group of researchers (Piel FB et al. PLoS Med. 2013;10[7]:e1001484).

By combining epidemiologic estimates of the frequency of sickle cell anemia and projected birth rates of those with the disease, the researchers calculated the number of newborns with sickle cell anemia for each 5-year interval between 2010 and 2050. They estimated that this number will increase from about 305 800 in 2010 to 404 200 in 2050. Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be the countries most in need of policies to prevent and treat this disease in the future.