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Background: The frequent need for blood transfusion in children with SCA creates the impression that IDA is rare in this class of children.
Objectives: The objective of the study is to determine the prevalence of IDA in a population of under-five children with SCA in Lagos, Nigeria.
Methodology: Serum iron, total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation and serum ferritin were assayed in 97 under-five children with SCA and 97 age/sex matched controls.
The diagnosis of IDA was established based on the following criteria: haemoglobin <11.0 g/dl plus two or more of the following: MCV <70fl, transferrin saturation (Ts) <16% or serum ferritin (SF) <25ng/dL
Results: Overall prevalence of IDA was significantly higher among AA controls. In the younger age group, the prevalence of IDA was significantly higher among HbAA controls while in the older age group the odds of having IDA was three times higher among HbSS subjects but the difference was not statistically significant. Two of the three SCA children with IDA have history of previous blood transfusion.
Conclusion: IDA is uncommon in pre-school aged children with SCA. A multi-centre study is necessary to yield large number of transfused subjects to examine the effects of blood transfusion on prevalence of IDA.