Clinical implications of sickle-cell trait and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in hospitalized black male patients

N Engl J Med. 1979 May 3;300(18):1001-5. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197905033001801.


To determine whether sickle-cell trait and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency influence the course and fatality rates of certain diseases requiring hospitalization, especially those associated with thrombotic phenomena, we conducted a co-operative study of 65,154 consecutively admitted, black male patients in 13 Veterans Administration hospitals. The overall frequency of sickle-cell trait was 7.8 per cent and of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase dificiency 11.2 per cent. Both conditions were present in 0.9 per cent of those examined. There were regional, but no age-dependent, differences in the frequency of sickle-cell trait. Sickle-cell trait had no effect on average age at hospitalization or death, overall mortality, length of hospitalization on medical and surgical wards and frequency of any diagnosis, except essential hematuria and pulmonary embolism. Although statistically significant (P less than 0.001), the differences for the latter were small (1.5 per cent of all patients with normal hemoglobin and 2.2 per cent of patients with sickle-cell trait). Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency had no adverse effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications*
  • Black People
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / complications
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / complications*
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / mortality
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology
  • Pyelonephritis / complications
  • Sickle Cell Trait / complications*
  • Sickle Cell Trait / epidemiology
  • Sickle Cell Trait / mortality
  • United States