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Sickle Cell Trait, Hemoglobin C Trait, and Invasive Pneumococcal Disease

Katherine A. Poehling, Laney S. Light, Melissa Rhodes, Beverly M. Snively, Natasha B. Halasa, Ed Mitchel, William Schaffner, Allen S. Craig and Marie R. Griffin
Epidemiology
Vol. 21, No. 3 (May 2010), pp. 340-346
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25662868
Page Count: 7
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Sickle Cell Trait, Hemoglobin C Trait, and Invasive Pneumococcal Disease
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Abstract

Background: The cause of historically higher rates of invasive pneumococcal disease among blacks than whites has remained unknown. We tested the hypothesis that sickle cell trait or hemoglobin C trait is an independent risk factor for invasive pneumococcal disease. Method: Eligible children were born in Tennessee (1996–2003), had a newborn screen, enrolled in TennCare aged <1 year, and resided in a Tennessee county with laboratory-confirmed, pneumococcal surveillance. Race/ethnicity was ascertained from birth certificates. Children were followed through 2005 until loss of enrollment, pneumococcal disease episode, fifth birthday, or death. We calculated incidence rates by race/ethnicity and hemoglobin type before and after pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) introduction. Poisson regression analyses compared invasive pneumococcal disease rates among blacks with sickle cell trait or hemoglobin C trait with whites and blacks with normal hemoglobin, controlling for age, gender, time (pre-PCV7, transition year, or post-PCV7) and high-risk conditions (eg, heart disease). Results: Over 10 years, 415 invasive pneumococcal disease episodes occurred during 451,594 observed child-years. Before PCV7 introduction, disease rates/100,000 child-years were 2941 for blacks with sickle cell disease, 258 for blacks with sickle cell trait or hemoglobin C trait and 188, 172, and 125 for blacks, whites, and Hispanics with normal hemoglobin. Post-PCV7, rates declined for all groups. Blacks with sickle cell trait or hemoglobin C trait had 77% (95% CI = 22–155) and 42% (95% CI = 1–100) higher rates than whites and blacks with normal hemoglobin. Conclusion: Black children with sickle cell trait or hemoglobin C trait have an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease.

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