By H. J. Bensted, W. Bulloch, L. Dudgeon, A. G. Gardner, E. D. W. Greig, D. Harvey, W. F. Harvey, T. J. Mackie, R. A. O'Brien, H. M. Perry, H. Scutze, P. Bruce White, W. J. Wilson. London, 1929. His Majesty's Stationery Office. Pp. 1–482
by A. Trevor Willis, M.D., B.S. (Melb.), Ph.D. (Leeds), M.C.Path., M.C.P.A., Reader in Microbiology, Monash University, formerly Lecturer in Bacteriology, University of Leeds. xiv + 234 pages, illustrated, second edition. Butterworth Inc., Washington. 1965. $8.50
Sickle cell trait (SCT) carriers inherit one copy of the Glu6Val mutation in the hemoglobin gene and is particularly common in Black individuals (5–10%). Considering the roles of hemoglobin in immune responses and the higher risk for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among Black individuals, we tested whether Black SCT carriers were at increased risk for COVID-19 infection and mortality according to the United Kingdom Biobank. Among Black individuals who were tested for COVID-19, we found similar infection rates among SCT carriers (14/72; 19.7%) and noncarriers (167/791; 21.1%), but higher COVID-19 mortality rates among SCT carriers (4/14; 28.6%) than among noncarriers (21/167; 12.6%) (odds ratio [OR], 3.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69–11.82; P = 0.12). Notably, SCT carriers with preexisting diabetes had significantly higher COVID-19 mortality (4/4; 100%) than those without diabetes (0/10; 0%; (OR, 90.71; 95% CI, 5.66–infinite; P = 0.0005). These findings suggest that Black SCT carriers with preexisting diabetes are at disproportionally higher risk for COVID-19 mortality. Confirmation by larger studies is warranted.
* Address correspondence to Jianfeng Xu, NorthShore University HealthSystem, 1001 University Place, Evanston, IL 60201. E-mail: email@example.com
Disclosure: All authors declare no support from any organization for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work. The UKB was approved by North West–Haydock Research Ethics Committee (REC reference: 16/NW/0274; IRAS project ID: 200778). UKB data were accessed through a Material Transfer Agreement under Application Reference Number 50295. This study was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. All UKB participants provided their informed consent before any data/samples were collected. The data used in this study are available in the UK Biobank, a publicly available repository. Data were accessed through a Material Transfer Agreement under Application Reference Number 50295. For additional information, please feel free to contact the corresponding author.