Sickle cell disease and H3Africa: enhancing genomic research on cardiovascular diseases in African patients.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) has a high prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa. There are several cardiovascular phenotypes in SCD that contribute to its morbidity and mortality.
SCD is characterised by marked clinical variability, with genetic factors playing key modulating roles. Studies in Tanzania and Cameroon have reported that singlenucleotide polymorphisms in BCL11A and HBS1L-MYB loci and co-inheritance of alpha-thalassaemia impact on foetal haemoglobin levels and clinical severity. The prevalence of overt stroke among SCD patients in Cameroon (6.7%) and Nigeria (8.7%) suggests a higher burden than in high-income countries. There is also some evidence of high burden of kidney disease and pulmonary hypertension in SCD; however, the burden and genetics of these cardiovascular conditions have seldom been investigated in Africa.
Several H3Africa projects are focused on cardiovascular diseases and present major opportunities to build genome-based research on existing SCD platforms in Africa to transform the health outcomes of patients.
Wonkam, A; Makani, J; Ofori-Aquah, S; Nnodu, OE; Treadwell, M; Royal, C; Ohene-Frempong, K; Members of the H3Africa Consortium,
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