Pain Burden in the CASiRe International Cohort of Sickle Cell Patients: United States and Ghana

William T. Zempsky, Mary Yanaros, Mohammed Sayeem, Donna Boruchov, Connie M. Piccone, Deepa Manwani, Crawford Strunk, Immacolata Tartaglione, Raffaella Colombatti, Sophia Akatue, Bianca Oteng, Ahmed Owda, Rose Bamfo, Samuel Wilson, Angela Rivers, Fatimah Farooq, Rebekah Urbonya, Gifty Dankwah Boatemaa, Sudha Rao, Baba InusaCharles Antwi-Boasiako, Catherine Segbefia, Fredericka Sey, Biree Andemariam, Eugenia Vicky Asare, Andrew D. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a genetic blood disorder affecting over 1 million people globally. The aim of this analysis is to explore the pain burden of patients with SCD in two countries: the United States and Ghana. Methods: The Consortium for the Advancement of Sickle Cell Research (CASiRe) was created to better understand the clinical severity of patients with SCD worldwide. Data regarding gender, SCD genotype, prior medical diagnoses, and validated pain burden measures were analyzed from the CASiRe database. The Sickle Cell Pain Burden Interview (SCPBI) was used to assess pain burden, the impact of pain on physical, emotional, and social function. Results: Most subjects identified as Black/African American (n = 298, 97.0%). Patient ages ranged from 6 to 73 years. 35.9% resided in the United States, 64.1% resided in Ghana, 40.9% were men, and 58.7% were women. The mean SCPBI score for US SCD patients was 6.53(±5.89) vs 4.04(±5.10) for Ghanaian patients, P <0.001. Pain burden was higher in US men vs Ghanaian men (6.74(±5.68) vs 3.54(±4.46), P = .003) and in US women vs Ghanaian women (6.37 ± 6.06 vs 4.44(±5.54), P = .032). Pain burden was higher in US patients than Ghanaian patients for both the Hb SC/SBeta+ genotype (5.40(±5.29) vs 2.82(±4.86), P = .054) and Hb SS/SBeta0 genotype (6.79(±6.01) vs 4.49(±5.13), P = .003). Pain burden was significantly higher in SCD patients with comorbid conditions independent of geographic origin including stroke, cholecystectomy, gallstones, depression, and headache. Discussion: US patients with SCD have a higher pain burden than Ghanaian patients. Further studies should investigate underlying contributors to pain burden in these populations and further explore the etiology of geographic differences in pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1386
Number of pages8
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • CASiRe
  • Chronic Pain
  • Pain Burden
  • Sickle Cell Disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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