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Objectives: The co-existence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and sickle cell disease (SCD) is rare. This study aimed to explore whether SCD patients have the same DM prevalence as the general population in a country with a high prevalence of DM. Methods: This cross-sectional study included all SCD adult patients admitted to Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain, between 2003 and 2010 (n = 2,204). A random sample (n = 520) was taken to establish the prevalence of DM. Laboratory records were examined to determine the presence of DM. Results: There were 376 SCD patients with complete records; of these, 24 (6.4%) had DM. The age- and sex-standardised prevalence of DM was 8.3%. Conclusion: While the prevalence of DM in SCD patients in Bahrain was high, it was lower than expected in this population. SCD may have a protective effect towards DM development. However, the impact of these two conditions on vascular diseases suggest a need for screening and aggressive treatment in this population.


Diabetes Mellitus Sickle Cell Disease Prevalence Epidemiology Comorbidity Vascular Diseases Bahrain.

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How to Cite
Mohamed, A. A., Al-Qurashi, F., & Whitford, D. L. (2015). Does Sickle Cell Disease Protect Against Diabetes Mellitus? : Cross-sectional study. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal [SQUMJ], 15(1), 116–119. Retrieved from