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: Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

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

Ebola-hit Liberia delays school reopening

1 hour ago

Liberia's education ministry said on Sunday it had postponed by two weeks the reopening of the country's schools, which were closed six months ago to limit the spread of the Ebola virus.

Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer

10 hours ago

Here are key dates in the current Ebola epidemic, the worst ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever which first surfaced in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

Jan 31, 2015

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.