Sickle cell anemia patients who took the drug hydroxyurea over a 9-year period experienced a 40 percent reduction in deaths, according to the first study to evaluate whether the treatment prolongs life, announced the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.
The study of 299 adult sickle cell patients with moderate to severe forms of the disease, found that improved survival was related to the benefits associated with hydroxyurea treatment — an increase in fetal hemoglobin and reduced episodes of severe pain “crises” and chest syndrome, a pneumonia-like illness. The results were published in the April 2 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NHLBI Communications Office
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