Background: Sickle cell disease is associated with several systemic complications and life-threatening crises. The use of drugs that increase hemoglobin F level, such as hydroxyurea, in patients with sickle cell disease is associated with a reduction in the severity of the disease.
Aim: To compare the outcome of patients adherent to hydroxyurea with those who are poorly adherent and to determine which age group is more likely to be poorly adherent and hence suffer more complications.
Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed at King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh between January 01 and March 31, 2014. The study included 140 patients, 60 of them were receiving hydroxyurea therapy.
Results: Patients who were adherent to hydroxyurea treatment suffered less complications and had less frequent sickling crises than patients who were poorly adherent to therapy. Patients belonging to the age group 15 to 30 years were found to be less adherent to treatment than other age groups and consequently they suffered more complications.
Conclusion: More attention and health education should be offered to adolescents and young adults having sickle cell anemia in order for these patients to benefit from the positive impact of hydroxyurea on the disease outcome.