Contemporary outcomes of anemia in US patients with chronic kidney disease

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Clinical kidney journal








CKD; anemia; epidemiology; hemoglobin; retrospective


BACKGROUND: Long-term clinical outcome data from patients with non-dialysis-dependent (NDD) chronic kidney disease (CKD) are lacking. We characterized patients with NDD-CKD and anemia using real-world data from the USA. METHODS: This retrospective longitudinal observational study evaluated integrated Limited Claims and Electronic Health Record Data (IBM Health, Armonk, NY), including patients ≥18 years with two or more estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) measures <60 mL/min/1.73 m ≥90 days apart. Anemia was defined as the first observed hemoglobin <10 g/dL within 6-month pre- and post-CKD index date. Data were analyzed from January 2012 to June 2018. Patients with documented iron-deficiency anemia at baseline were excluded. RESULTS: Comprising 22 720 patients (57.4% female, 63.9% CKD stage 3, median hemoglobin 12.5 g/dL), median (interquartile range) follow-up for patients with and without anemia were 2.9 (1.5-4.4) and 3.8 (2.2-4.8) years, respectively. The most prevalent comorbidities were dyslipidemia (57.6%), type 2 diabetes mellitus (38.8%) and uncontrolled hypertension (20.0%). Overall, 23.3% of patients had anemia, of whom 1.9% and <0.1% received erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) or intravenous iron, respectively. Anemia prevalence increased with CKD stage from 18.2% (stage 3a) to 72.8% (stage 5). Patients with anemia had a higher incidence rate of hospitalizations for heart failure (1.6 versus 0.8 per 100 patient-years), CKD stage advancement (43.5 versus 27.5 per 100 patient-years), and a 40% eGFR decrease (18.1 versus 7.3 per 100 patient-years) versus those without anemia. CONCLUSIONS: Anemia, frequently observed in NDD-CKD and associated with adverse clinical outcomes, is rarely treated with ESAs and intravenous iron. These data suggest that opportunities exist for improved anemia management in patients with NDD-CKD.