We sought to investigate the nutritional and hematological status of Sudanese women of childbearing age with sickle cell anemia (SCA). Anthropometry and hematology were used to assess nutritional status and health and disease conditions, respectively.
Women with steady-state (HbSS, n = 39; age = 19.0±2.7) and without (HbAA, n = 36; age, 19.8±2.7) SCA were recruited during a routine visit to the Hematology Clinic, Ibn-Auf Teaching Hospital, Khartoum, Sudan.
The two groups of women lived in similar environmental conditions and ate similar diets three times a day. However, despite taking regular meals, the women with sickle anemia were thinner and lighter ( < 0.001) and shorter ( 0.002) compared with those who do not have the disease. Also, they had higher levels of mean corpuscular hemoglobin (Hb) concentration and white cell count ( < 0.001), mean corpuscular volume ( 0.003), and platelet ( 0.002) and lower packed cell volume and Hb ( 0.050).
The low anthropometric (height, weight, and body mass index) and abnormal hematological values in the women with SCA in steady-state reflect sustained nutritional insults inflected by the disease and poverty. Tailored nutritional counseling/advice must be an integral part of managing patients with SCA. Such advice is particularly vital for women of childbearing age because of the adverse effects of prepregnancy nutritional deficiency on outcomes.

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