Hypertension is an established risk factor for subsequent cardiovascular and renal disease in children as well as adults. Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder associated with chronic hemolytic anemia with the major manifestation of vaso-occlusive crises. Although this disease entity involves most organ systems causing vascular and pulmonary injury, little is known about blood pressure (BP) levels or prevalence of hypertension in children with SCD. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 56 children with SCD (54 with hemoglobin SS disease; 2 with hemoglobin Sβ0 thalassemia; 29 females). Study participants underwent 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM). Serum creatinine and cystatin C were obtained to assess estimated glomerular filtration rate with age-based formulas. A random urine sample was obtained to estimate urine osmolality and urine albumin to creatinine ratio. Mean age range was 11.9 (±4.5) years. Seventeen participants (30%) met criteria for hypertension based on ABPM. Of the 17 participants classified with hypertension, three had office hypertension with ambulatory hypertension, and 14 had masked hypertension detected on ABPM. Another 28 participants (50%) had some abnormal ABPM parameters in the form of either prehypertension and/or lack of normal nocturnal dipping status. The prevalence of confirmed hypertension, largely manifest by masked hypertension, is high in children, as young as 6 years of age with SCD. Early identification of hypertension in SCD children can confer benefit as it is an important modifiable risk factor for progression of cardiovascular and renal disease.
Keywords: Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM); blood pressure (BP); chronic kidney disease (CKD); sickle cell disease (SCD).
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