Objective: To characterize the socioeconomic and demographic aspects of sickle cell disease patients from the state of Rio Grande do Norte (RN), Northeast Brazil, and their adherence to the recommended treatment. Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was performed at referral centers for the treatment of hematological diseases. One hundred and fifty-five unrelated individuals with sickle cell disease who went to these centers for outpatient visits were analyzed. All the patients, or their caregivers, were informed about the research procedures and objectives, and answered a standardized questionnaire. Results: The patients were predominantly younger than 12 years old, self-declared as mulatto, lived in small towns fairly distant from the referral center, and had low education and socioeconomic levels. Individuals who were ten or younger were diagnosed at an earlier age. Almost 50% of the patients were taking hydroxyurea, 91.4% reported having received pneumococcal/meningococcal vaccinations and 76.1% received penicillin as antibiotic prophylaxis. However, the majority of them reported having difficulties following the recommendations of the physicians, mainly in respect to attaining the prescribed medications and transportation to the referral centers. Conclusion: These individuals have a vulnerable socioeconomic situation that can lead to an aggravation of their general health and thus deserve special attention from the medical and psychosocial perspectives. Thus, it is necessary to improve public policies that provide Brazilian sickle cell disease patients with better access to medical treatment, living conditions, and integration into society.
T.A.A.M., F., T.M., M., J.J.P., A., C.M., B., J.V., F., T.S.S., S., … M.F., S. (2015). Socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of sickle cell disease patients from a low-income region of northeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia. T.A.A.M. Fernandes, Rua Miguel Antonio da Silva Neto, S/N Aeroporto, Mossoro, RN 59607-030, Brazil: Elsevier Editora Ltda. Retrieved from http://www.journals.elsevier.com/revista-brasileira-de-hematologia-e-hemoterapia/