CKD-Related Anemia Occurs Earlier in Women than Men

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MUNICH, GERMANY—Among individuals with CKD, anemia occurs earlier in women than men, French researchers reported at the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association annual congress.

Lucile Mercadal, MD, PhD, and colleagues examined the effect of gender on the level and time of anemia and iron store deficiency in 1,073 CKD patients: 759 men and 314 women.

In both genders, the prevalence of anemia—defined as a hemoglobin level below 11 g/dL—generally increased with decreasing measured glomerular filtration rate (mGFR), but was higher in women at all mGFRs except for an mGFR below 15 mL/min/1.73 m2. In women, prevalence was 9.8%, 6.3%, 26.1%, 43.4%, and 38.1% for an mGFR of 60 or higher, 45-60, 30-45, and 15-30, respectively. In men, the corresponding prevalences were 1.7%, 3.9%, 8.5%, 18.4%, and 38.3%, respectively.

In addition, the study revealed that ferritin level in men was neither associated with mGFR nor with Hb. In women, however, ferritin level increased significantly with decreasing mGFR and was inversely correlated with Hb. The correlation was no longer significant after adjusting for mGFR.

Noting that ferritinemia “paradoxically increased with renal function decline in women, but not in men,” the investigators concluded this may partly explain the gender differences in the pattern of anemia in the course of CKD.

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