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Awan AA, Walther CP, Richardson PA, Shah M, Winkelmayer WC, Navaneethan SD. Prevalence, correlates and outcomes of absolute and functional iron deficiency anemia in nondialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease. Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association. 2019 Oct 22.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Anemia is associated with adverse outcomes in those with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We examined the association of absolute and functional iron deficiency anemia (IDA) with adverse outcomes (cardiovascular hospitalization, dialysis and mortality) in those with nondialysis-dependent CKD. METHODS: Nondialysis-dependent CKD patients followed in the US Veterans Administration with hemoglobin level measured within 90?days of the date of the second estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60?mL/min/1.73?m2 were included. Logistic regression, multivariate Cox proportional hazards and Poisson regression models adjusted for demographics and comorbidities were used to assess the prevalence and correlates of absolute [transferrin saturation (TSAT) = 20%, ferritin < 100 ng/mL] and functional (TSA T = 20%, ferritin > 100-500?ng/mL) IDA and the associations of absolute and functional IDA with mortality, dialysis and cardiovascular hospitalization. RESULTS: Of 933 463 patients with CKD, 20.6% had anemia. Among those with anemia, 23.6% of patients had both TSAT and ferritin level measured, of whom 30% had absolute IDA and 19% had functional IDA. Absolute IDA in CKD was not associated with an increased risk of mortality or dialysis but was associated with a higher risk of 1-year {risk ratio [RR] 1.20 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12-1.28]} and 2-year cardiovascular hospitalization [RR 1.11 (95% CI 1.05-1.17)]. CKD patients with functional IDA had a higher risk of mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 1.11 (95% CI 1.07-1.14)] along with a higher risk of 1-year [RR 1.21 (95% CI 1.1-1.30)] and 2-year cardiovascular hospitalization [RR 1.13 (95% CI 1.07-1.21)]. Ferritin > 500?ng/mL (treated as a separate category) was only associated with an increased risk of mortality [HR 1.38 (95% CI 1.26-1.51)]. CONCLUSIONS: In a large population of CKD patients with anemia, absolute and functional IDA were associated with various clinical covariates. Functional IDA was associated with an increased risk of mortality and cardiovascular hospitalization, but absolute IDA was associated only with a higher risk of hospitalization.

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