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The 5th ELSI Congress - ELSIcon2022

ELSIcon2022 Flash: Inequality and Health: Sickle Cell Disease and Food Insecurity during the COVID-19 Pandemic


ELSIcon2022 • Flash • May 27, 2022

Faeben Wossenseged, Ashley Buscetta, Nicole Farmer, Vence Bonham

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated social inequalities including food insecurity, limiting households’ access to adequate food across the United States. High levels of food insecurity have been documented among chronic disease populations, such as individuals living with sickle cell disease (SCD). Throughout the pandemic, those living with SCD have been deemed as a high-risk population, making them especially vulnerable to complications associated with severe COVID-19. To better understand the relationship between food insecurity and SCD, we performed a scoping review from 2010 up until July 2021. Overall, only three published articles and six meeting abstracts were identified, and no literature was identified within the context of the pandemic, highlighting a lack of research on this topic. Additionally, this scoping review identified a bidirectional relationship between SCD severity and food insecurity, where the two conditions work in tandem to exacerbate one another. In this project, data regarding food access, general health and wellbeing, and healthcare utilization from a current study, Living with Sickle Cell Disease in the COVID-19 Pandemic, will be analyzed to assess the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on food insecurity among a SCD population. Longitudinal data collection began in June 2020 and will continue through 2022, allowing for assessment and comparison of food insecurity and related clinical and social factors at different points of the pandemic. This project aims to frame the relationship between food insecurity, social inequality, and SCD in the face of a global pandemic. 


Lived experience of genetic conditions
health disparities

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