Common blood changes not independent predictor of adverse outcomes for kidney disease patients

Aug 26, 2010

Fluctuations in blood composition that often arise from commonly used therapies among kidney disease patients are not an independent predictor of adverse outcomes for European hemodialysis patients, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The results suggest that although hemoglobin variability is common in kidney disease patients, it does not appear to increase their likelihood of dying early.

Research has generated conflicting results on the health impacts that may occur when a person experiences variability in levels of hemoglobin (the component of blood that transports oxygen throughout the body) after taking erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs). These drugs are commonly used to treat in patients with . Unfortunately, ESAs can increase the risk of vascular complications and possibly death when used to boost kidney disease patients' hemoglobin levels to what is considered normal (> 13 g/dL) in the general population. In addition, kidney disease patients often have significant fluctuations in hemoglobin levels when using ESAs.

To see if variability of hemoglobin levels over time may have a negative effect on a patient's health, Kai-Uwe Eckardt, MD (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany) and his colleagues examined data from 5037 European treated over two years.

"We were able to establish that variability in hemoglobin levels experienced by many hemodialysis patients, per se, does not appear to increase the risk of ," said Dr. Eckardt. However, the study did find that patients with consistently low levels of hemoglobin (<11 g/dl) had 2.34-times the risk of dying during the study period; those whose hemoglobin levels fluctuated between normal and <11 g/dl had 1.74-times the risk of dying during the study period.

Explore further: West Africa's Ebola outbreak has claimed 137 lives

More information: The article, entitled "Hemoglobin Variability Does Not Predict Mortality in European Hemodialysis Patients," will appear online on August 26, 2010, doi:10.1681/ASN.2009101017

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

13 hours ago

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...

Tracking flu levels with Wikipedia

13 hours ago

Can monitoring Wikipedia hits show how many people have the flu? Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, USA, have developed a method of estimating levels of influenza-like illness in the American population by analysing ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...