UF researcher gets sickle cell therapy grant
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A researcher at the University of Florida College of Nursing has been awarded a $2.6 million grant to determine whether relaxation therapy can help reduce pain and manage stress for patients with sickle cell disease, negating the need for opioids. “Historical and contemporary prejudices and stereotypes are associated with those who suffer from sickle cell disease because of their racial background,” Ezenwa said in a prepared statement. “Stress from sickle cell disease symptoms and social factors have been magnified by the public health crisis related to the opioid overdose epidemic in the United States.”Studies indicate as many as 100,000 people could be living with sickle cell disease in the United States. According to a June 2019 report from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health, 55,349 Medicaid beneficiaries nationwide had sickle cell disease in 2012, the latest available data. With 5,395 Medicaid beneficiaries with the once-fatal disease, Florida had the second-largest sickle cell Medicaid population behind New York.