Sickle Cell Disease: Health Objectives Working Group Blood Diseases Branch

September 14 - 15 , 2006
Baltimore, MD


In 1979, the U.S. Surgeon General released a report to develop health objectives for the U.S. population. This set the Nation’s health agenda for the coming decade and was soon followed by the 1990 Health Objectives for the Nation. At that time, most objectives emphasized primary prevention, although several addressed secondary prevention for people with clinical diagnoses such as hypertension and sexually transmitted diseases. Updated objectives were released in 1990, titled Healthy People 2000. At that time, communities were encouraged to use the Federal objectives as templates and to develop their own objectives. These initial efforts at improving and tracking population health were instrumental in generating new data systems for measuring progress toward the objectives. Healthy People 2000 and Health People 2010 emphasized health improvements and elimination of disparities among population groups. These objectives targeted reducing morbidity and mortality. Over time, these and other efforts have led to improved data systems that have yielded data for health and quality care indicators.

Currently (2006), there is one sickle cell disease (SCD) health objective in Healthy People 2010. The section on Maternal, Infant, and Child Health includes the objective to “reduce hospitalization for life-threatening sepsis among children aged 4 years and under with sickling hemoglobinopathies” (Objective 16-21). Although the National Hospital Discharge Survey is listed as a potential data source, it is unclear whether it can be used to track progress for this one objective.

On September 14-15 2006, the NHLBI convened a Working Group to develop health objectives for people with SCD. The working Group was charged with identifying health priorities for SCD that should be used to drive and prioritize subsequent efforts, and that should include appropriate measures by which to evaluate efforts.

The complete report is available as a PDF file. (95K, 12 pages)

Last updated: June 1, 2007