Center for Translational and International Hematology

Pittsburgh Heart, Lung and Blood Vascular Medicine Institute
University of Pittsburgh


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Vascular Medicine Institute
BST E1240
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Center for Translational and International Hematology



Amma Benneh-Akwasi Kuma MB ChB, MGCPS, FWACP

Through the Global Health Research Travel Fellowship, I had the opportunity to present my Abstract at the 57th Annual and Scientific meeting of the American Society of Hematology in Orlando, Florida.  The Abstract was the result of the collaboration with researchers from the Center for Translational and International Hematology at the University of Pittsburgh. Our team recently completed the first study of its kind showing the prevalence of relative hypertension in Adult Ghanaians with Sickle Cell Disease.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with an increased risk of premature death in adults. Relative systemic hypertension (RSH) is associated with increased risk of vascular disorders in SCD. While drugs targeting RSH may halt the development of sickle vascular disorders, the magnitude of this problem is unknown in many countries, including in Ghana, which has ~2% incidence rate of SCD. We concluded through this study that there is a 41.8% prevalence of RSH in SCD patients and 35.8% in HbSS patients. We hope our findings help validate the need of BP monitoring and preemptive treatment of RSH.
Currently, I am a Hematologist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, and a fellow of Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons (FGCPS). I have the unique opportunity to deliver comprehensive care to sickle cell patients by utilizing my expertise in clinical and laboratory diagnoses. For over 12 years, I have managed adult sickle cell patients in both acutely ill and in steady states. This has prompted my passion in advocating for sickle cell disease by speaking for national television networks during Ghana’s World Sickle Cell Day Celebrations.
Benneh A.A., Owusu-Ansah AT, Sey F., Ampomah M.A, Olayemi E, Ofori-Acquah S.F. Prevalence of Relative Systemic Hypertension in Ghanian Adults with Sickle Cell Disease. Poster session presented at: the 57th Annual Meeting & Exposition of the American Society of Hematology. 2015 December 5-8; Orlando, FL.