Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medical Science (MMSc)

First Advisor

John D. Roberts, MD


Sickle cell disease is multi-system disorder characterized by anemia, pain, chronic inflammation and organ damage. The bones are especially targeted in sickle cell disease, and as a result 70% of adults have low bone mineral density which increases their risk of osteoporosis and skeletal deformities. Vitamin D is essential for calcium homeostasis which is necessary for proper bone mineralization. However, sickle cell patients have low vitamin D levels which are thought to contribute to the low bone mineral density. We propose that vitamin D supplementation will increase bone mineral density in adults with sickle cell disease. We will test this hypothesis with a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in adults living with sickle cell disease. If positive, this study could lead to a recommendation of vitamin D supplementation that could decrease the incidence of low bone mineral density and its subsequent morbidity in sickle cell disease.


This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only.