Background: Anemia is common in non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease (NDD-CKD) patients, but detailed information on prevalence and treatment is lacking. Methods: We evaluated anemia prevalence and treatment using two datasets: the Medicare 20% random sample (ages 66-85 years), and the Truven Health MarketScan database (ages 18-63 years). We selected stage 3-5 NDD-CKD patients with and without anemia from both databases during 2011-2013. We evaluated anemia prevalence and treatment (erythropoietin stimulating agents [ESAs], intravenous [IV] iron, red blood cell [RBC] transfusions) following anemia diagnosis during a 1-year baseline period, and healthcare utilization during a 1-year follow-up period. We used Poisson regression models to compare healthcare utilization in patients with and without anemia, adjusting for demographics, baseline comorbid conditions, inflammatory conditions, and CKD stage. Results: We identified 218,079 older and 56,188 younger stage 3-5 NDD-CKD patients. Anemia prevalence increased with age in both datasets; was higher in women, black patients (Medicare only), and patients with comorbid conditions; and rose sharply with increasing CKD stage. Of 15,716 younger anemic patients, 11.7%, 10.8%, and 9.4% were treated with RBC transfusion, ESAs, and IV iron, respectively. Corresponding proportions of 109,251 older anemic patients were 22.2%, 12.7%, and 6.7%. Regardless of age, anemic patients were more likely than non-anemic patients to use healthcare resources, including hospitalizations and emergency department, hematologist, nephrologist, and outpatient visits. Anemic NDD-CKD patients were more likely to be treated with RBC transfusion than with ESAs or IV iron. Conclusion: More research is necessary to determine best approaches to anemia management in CKD.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a research contract from AstraZeneca, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware. The contract provides for the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation authors to have final determination of manuscript content.
- Anemia treatment
- Healthcare utilization
- Non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease