SCD can have a negative impact on education, employment and relationships1–5



cup 51%

said it affected their
achievements at school3*

clock 46%

missed some

paper 28%

had to retake a year
or a class3*



cup 51%

seriously considered reducing
their working hours, with
48% (~96/201) having done so4†

clock 46%

considered quitting
their job, while 30% (n=~59/198) 
opted to stop working4†

cup 51%

had to take time off work4†


say SCD has stopped them finding
suitable work or progressing in their career
(49% n=~118/241 and 51% n=123/241, respectively)4†


Social and developmental effects of SCD

Living with SCD can affect children and adults socially, emotionally and developmentally, further impacting patients in their education and employment:5



  • Feeling different from peers
  • Missing out on things
  • Anxiety about their condition and how it will present
  • Concerns about falling behind due to missed school
  • Fatigue and pain limiting participation in sports


  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Feelings of failure
  • Difficulty communicating the emotional impact of their disease with others
  • Employers being intolerant of absences from work due to painful crises
  • Difficulty in planning leisure activities
  • Difficulty forming relationships


*Results of a questionnaire completed by 2,145 patients with SCD globally.3
Results of a questionnaire completed by 299 patients with SCD in the UK.4

Abbreviations: SCD, sickle cell disease; VOCs, vaso-occlusive crises.


  1. Swanson ME, et al. Am J Prev Med. 2011;41(6S4):S390–S397.

  2. Brandow AM, et al. Br J Haematol. 2009;144(5):782–788.

  3. Osunkwo I, et al. Poster presented at the American Society of Haematology Annual Meeting; December 7–10, 2019; Orlando, Florida.

  4. Inusa B, et al. UK Results from the International Sickle Cell World Assessment Survey (SWAY): Patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Experience Work Impairment and Decreased Productivity. Oral presentation, presented at the Annual Scientic Meeting of the British Society for Haematology 2020; Nov 09–14: Virtual Event.

  5. Chakravorty S, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2018;103(12):1104–1109.

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UK | April 2021 | 104286

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