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Socio-economic deprivation and Sickle Cell Disease

Patients with Sickle Cell Disease living in more deprived areas are more likely to be admitted to hospital again according to a recent study by AlJuburi and colleagues. Taking data from Hospital Episode Statistics, the study followed up almost 8,000 patients admitted to hospital for SCD in 2005/06 for the next five years. The study also found that patients in more deprived areas were more likely to die over the period.

Sickle Cell Disease is known to be a cause of frequent hospitalisation and previous work by the same authors described rising trend of admissions in England. Readmissions to hospital are however, considered to be a better marker of the quality of care in this population and this study gives information on which groups are at greatest risk of poor outcomes. As well as providing an epidemiology of hospital readmissions, this study suggests that targeted interventions aimed at people at high risk of readmission may be effective in improving both quality of care and health service burden of Sickle Cell Disease.

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