Background: Nutritional deficiencies are prevalent in sickle cell disease (SCD) and may be associated with worse pain outcomes. Gut dysbiosis has been reported in patients with SCD and may contribute to both nutritional deficiencies and pain. Objectives: We tested the association of nutrition, fat-soluble vitamin (FSV) deficiency, and gut microbiome composition on clinical outcomes in SCD. Second, we measured the association between diet and exocrine pancreatic function on FSV levels. Methods: Using case control design, we enrolled children with SCD (n = 24) and matched healthy controls (HC; n = 17, age, sex, race/ethnicity). Descriptive statistics summarized demographic and clinical data. Wilcoxson-rank tests compared FSV levels between cohorts. Regression modeling tested the association between FSV levels and SCD status. Welch's t-test with Satterthwaite adjustment evaluated associations between microbiota profiles, SCD status, and pain outcomes. Results: Vitamin A and D levels were significantly decreased in participants with HbSS as compared to HC (vitamin A, p = <.0001, vitamin D, p =.014) independent of nutritional status. FSV correlated with dietary intake in SCD and HC cohorts. Gut microbial diversity was reduced in hemoglobin SS (HbSS) compared to hemoglobin SC (HbSC) and HC, p =.037 and.059, respectively. The phyla Erysipelotrichaceae and Betaproteobacteria were higher in SCD children reporting the highest quality-of-life (QoL) scores (p =.008 and.049, respectively), while Clostridia were higher in those with lower QoL scores (p =.03). Conclusion: FSV deficiencies and gut dysbiosis are prevalent in children with SCA. Gut microbial composition is significantly different in children with SCD with low QoL scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere30397
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • children
  • fat-soluble vitamins
  • gut dysbiosis
  • nutrition
  • sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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