Objective: To correlate serum levels of melatonin and cortisol in sickle cell anemia (SCA) with age, age at diagnosis, sex, anthropometry, vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) and current treatment.
Methods: Twenty nine patients and 29 controls were recruited into this study. Melatonin and Cortisol assays were performed using commercially available ELISA kit. Statistical analysis was done to assess the difference in mean melatonin and cortisol levels and correlate these with age, age at diagnosis, sex, anthropometry, Vaso-Occlusive Crisis (VOC), current treatment.
Results: There was a significantly lower melatonin serum levels in SCA patients compared to controls (p<0.001). Melatonin was negatively correlated with age, vaso-occlusive crisis and cortisol (r=-0.02, p=0.9), (r=-0.13, p=0.5), (r=-0.28, p=0.15) respectively. However, melatonin levels were not correlated with other parameters including weight and height. There was slightly small difference in the mean levels of cortisol in patients compared to controls, but this difference was not statistically significant. Similarly, no correlation with age, weight, or height was noted. There was no difference in mean serum levels of melatonin and cortisol between males and females of SCA patients also, between that receiving HU when compared with that not receiving HU.
Conclusion: In the present work, we observed a significant decrease in melatonin level in SCA patients compared to controls. This highlights melatonin importance as a therapeutically agent for developing antioxidant defence. The use of melatonin will certainly help in decreasing oxidative damage and will ultimately results in detracting symptoms associated with SCA.