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Paper Details

Pica among Sudanese children with sickle cell anemia

Fathelrahman Elawad Ahmed, Hadia Osman Gaboli, Bakhieta Attalla

Journal Title:Basic Research Journal of Medicine and Clinical Science

Pica is common in children with sickle cell anemia (SCA). We aimed to determine the frequency of pica and its characterization among Sudanese Children with SCA. This was a case-control, hospital-based study done over 6 months at a central children hospital in Khartoum, Sudan. Children with SCA who presented to the sickle cell outpatient clinic age two years or older without handicap related to diseases other than SCA were enrolled in this study. Apparently healthy preliminary school children with genotype (AA) were enrolled as a control group. Demographic, socioeconomic and clinical data were collected using a questionnaire. Each patient had complete blood count, hemoglobin electrophoresis, serum zinc and serum iron level done. Pica was reported in 102(66.2%) out of 154 study patients. This was significantly higher than that reported in the control group (66.2% vs 40% p 0.001). Common ingested items included clay, ice and coal. More than one item were sometimes ingested. Hemoglobin level was significantly lower and reticulocyte count was significantly higher in those who had pica. Serum zinc was low in all studied patients but was significantly lower in those with pica (p 0.00). Patients with pica were significantly lighter and shorter. Keywords: Pica, sickle cell, anemia, trait, Zinc, iron