Chronic kidney disease is common in sickle cell disease: a cross-sectional study in the Tema Metropolis, Ghana

BMC Nephrol. 2015 May 29;16:75. doi: 10.1186/s12882-015-0072-y.


Background: Renal involvement in sickle cell disease (SCD) contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) amongst SCD patients, and how basic clinical variables differ across haemoglobin genotypes.

Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study conducted from December 2013 to May 2014 at the Sickle cell clinic of the Tema General Hospital. One hundred and ninety-four (194) participants with SCD, receiving medical care at the outpatient sickle cell clinic were enrolled onto the study. A structured questionnaire was administered to obtain information on demography, clinical history, blood pressure and anthropometry. Blood and urine samples were taken for serum creatinine and proteinuria determination respectively. The estimated GFR (eGFR) was calculated using the CKD-EPI and Schwartz equations. CKD was defined according to the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines. Analysis was performed using GraphPad prism and P <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: CKD was present in 39.2% of participants. Using KDIGO guidelines, 40.8% of the HbSS participants had stage 1 CKD and none had stage 2 CKD. In addition, 30.8% of the HbSC participants had stage 1 CKD and 3.8% had stage 2 CKD. There was a trend of increasing age across CKD stages and stage 2 CKD participants were oldest (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Results from the current study suggest that CKD is common amongst SCD patients and prevalence and intensity increases with age. Proteinuria and CKD was more common in HbSS genotype than in HbSC genotype.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / epidemiology*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / genetics
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Hemoglobin C / genetics
  • Hemoglobin SC Disease / epidemiology*
  • Hemoglobin SC Disease / genetics
  • Hemoglobin, Sickle / genetics
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Proteinuria / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Hemoglobin, Sickle
  • Hemoglobin C