The painful crisis of homozygous sickle cell disease. A study of the risk factors

Arch Intern Med. 1987 Jul;147(7):1231-4.


Some epidemiologic features of the painful crisis in homozygous sickle cell disease were examined in a retrospective study of 995 painful crises. Previously reported associations with cold weather and pregnancy were confirmed. There was a striking increase in painful crises in male patients between the ages of 15 and 25 years, whereas female patients showed little age-related change. The frequency of painful crises correlated positively with hemoglobin levels and reticulocyte counts in both sexes and negatively with mean corpuscular volume in female patients. There was a striking increase in painful crises in male patients with hemoglobin levels above 8.5 g/dL (greater than 85 g/L). High hemoglobin levels appear to be an important risk factor for painful crises.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / epidemiology
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / genetics*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Erythrocyte Indices
  • Female
  • Hemoglobin, Sickle / analysis
  • Homozygote*
  • Humans
  • Jamaica
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic / blood
  • Reticulocytes
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Sex Factors


  • Hemoglobin, Sickle