Vital Signs: Use of Recommended Health Care Measures to Prevent Selected Complications of Sickle Cell Anemia in Children and Adolescents--Selected U.S. States, 2019.

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From: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report(Vol. 71, Issue 39)
Publisher: U.S. Government Printing Office
Document Type: Article
Length: 3,558 words
Lexile Measure: 1600L

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Abstract :

Introduction: Sickle cell disease (SCD), a group of inherited blood cell disorders that primarily affects Black or African American persons, is associated with severe complications and a 20-year reduction in life expectancy. In 2014, an expert panel convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute issued recommendations to prevent or reduce complications in children and adolescents with the most severe SCD subtypes, known as sickle cell anemia (SCA); recommendations included 1) annual screening of children and adolescents aged 2--16 years with transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasound to identify those at risk for stroke and 2) offering hydroxyurea therapy to children and adolescents aged [greater than or equal to]9 months to reduce the risk for several life-threatening complications. Methods: Data from the IBM MarketScan Multi-State Medicaid Database were analyzed. TCD screening and hydroxyurea use were examined for 3,352 children and adolescents with SCA aged 2-16 years and continuously enrolled in Medicaid during 2019. Percentage change during 2014-2019 and variation by health subgroups were assessed. Analyses were stratified by age. Results: During 2014-2019, TCD screening increased 27% among children and adolescents aged 10-16 years; hydroxyurea use increased 27% among children aged 2-9 years and 23% among children and adolescents aged 10-16 years. However, in 2019, only 47% and 38% of children and adolescents aged 2-9 and 10-16 years, respectively, had received TCD screening and 38% and 53% of children and adolescents aged 2-9 years and 10-16 years, respectively, used hydroxyurea. For both prevention strategies, usage was highest among children and adolescents with high levels of health care utilization and evidence of previous complications indicative of severe disease. Conclusion and Implications for Public Health Practice: Despite increases since 2014, TCD screening and hydroxyurea use remain low among children and adolescents with SCA. Health care providers should implement quality care strategies within their clinics and partner with patients, families, and community-based organizations to address barriers to delivering and receiving recommended care.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A721207759