Acute vaso-occlusive pain is temporally associated with the onset of menstruation in women with sickle cell disease

Deva Sharma, Melissa E. Day, Sarah Jo Stimpson, Mark Rodeghier, Djamila Ghafuri, Michael Callaghan, Ahmar Urooj Zaidi, Bryan Hannan, Adetola Kassim, William Zempsky, Melissa Wellons, Andra James, Stephen Bruehl, Michael R. Debaun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Acute vaso-occlusive pain episodes in sickle cell disease (SCD) are associated with increased rates of hospitalization and early mortality. Despite the observation that women have higher rates of acute vaso-occlusive pain episodes than men, sex-specific risk factors for acute vaso-occlusive pain have not been identified. We tested the hypothesis that acute vaso-occlusive pain is temporally associated with the onset of menstruation in women with SCD. Methods: Initially, using a cross-sectional study design, we administered questionnaires, including validated measures of SCD pain frequency and severity within the last 30 days, as well as menstrual symptoms in a discovery group (n = 103). We then confirmed our findings by administering the same questionnaires online in a replication group (n = 118). A validated questionnaire was used to define dysmenorrhea. Results: In the initial discovery group, 28% (29 of 103) reported acute vaso-occlusive pain episodes temporally associated with menstruation, and 72% (74 of 103) did not. Of the 29 reporting acute vaso-occlusive pain associated with menstruation, 90% (26) and 10% (3) did and did not meet criteria for dysmenorrhea, respectively. In the replication group, 36% (43 of 118) reported acute vaso-occlusive pain temporally associated with menstruation. Of the 43 reporting acute vaso-occlusive pain associated with menstruation, 60% (26) and 40% (17) did and did not meet criteria for dysmenorrhea, respectively. Conclusions: In both the discovery and replication groups, we demonstrate that acute vaso-occlusive pain is temporally associated with the onset of menstruation that women with SCD can distinguish from dysmenorrhea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-169
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • menstruation
  • sickle cell disease
  • vaso-occlusive pain
  • women

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