The Prevalence of Anemia in End Stage Renal Disease Patients
Anemia among end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients is recognized as exceedingly common, but its exact prevalence in the United States is unknown. No single ESRD-specific anemia metric has been well accepted in the nephrology community. One indication of anemia in ESRD patients is treatment with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), which is typically initiated at hemoglobin (Hb) < 10 g/dL. This treatment and Hb measurement were used in a study conducted by DaVita Clinical Research to explore prevalence of anemia in a cross-sectional population of ESRD patients under separate anemia definitions.
The study found that anemia prevalence varied by the defining criteria. Anemia prevalence, as of January 2015, was:
- 21.9 percent, when defined as Hb < 10 g/dL
- 84.7 percent, when defined as treated with ESA
- 85.2 percent, when defined as Hb < 10 g/dL or treated with ESA
The prevalence for anemia defined as Hb < 10 g/dL was low; therefore, the definition was found to be not clinically meaningful in measuring anemia in the ESRD population. Conversely, anemia defined as treated with ESA captures 99.4 percent of patients under the combined definition of treated with ESA or Hb < 10 g/dL, and has the potential to be applied to more analytic scenarios.
For more information, read the research poster here.