Sickle Cell Disease in Pregnancy: Trend and Pregnancy Outcomes at a Tertiary Hospital in Tanzania

Projestine S. Muganyizi, Hussein Kidanto

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37 Citations (Scopus)


SCD in pregnancy is associated with increased adverse fetal and maternal outcomes. In Tanzania where the frequency of sickle cell trait is 13% there has been scanty data on SCD in pregnancy. With progressive improvement in childhood survival the burden of SCD in pregnancy will increase. We analyzed all deliveries at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) from 1999 to 2011. Fetal and maternal outcomes of SCD deliveries were compared with non-SCD. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS statistics version 19. Chi square and Fisher Exact tests were used to compare proportions and the independent t-test for continuous data. To predict risks of adverse effects, odds ratios were determined using multivariate logistic regression. A p-value<0.05 was considered significant. In total, 157,473 deliveries occurred at MNH during the study period, of which 149 were SCD (incidence of 95 SCD per 100,000 deliveries). The incidence of SCD had increased from 76 per 100,000 deliveries in the 1999-2002 period to over 100 per 100, 000 deliveries in recent years. The mean maternal age at delivery was lower in SCD (24.0±5.5 years) than in non-SCD deliveries (26.2±6.0 years), p<0.001. Compared with non-SCD (2.9±0.7 Kg), SCD deliveries had less mean birth-weight (2.6±0.6 Kg), p<0.001. SCD were more likely than non-SCD to deliver low APGAR score at 5 minutes (34.5% Vs 15.0%, OR = 3.0, 95%CI: 2.1-4.2), stillbirths (25.7% Vs 7.5%, OR = 4.0, 95%CI: 2.8-5.8). There was excessive risk of maternal deaths in SCD compared to non-SCD (11.4% Vs 0.4%, OR = 29, 95%CI: 17.3-48.1). The leading cause of deaths in SCD was infections in wholly 82% in contrast to only 32% in non-SCD. In conclusion SCD in pregnancy is an emerging problem at MNH with increased adverse fetal outcomes and excessive maternal mortality mainly due to infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere56541
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


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