CHICAGO—Anemia is present in more than half of Medicare patients with non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease (NDD-CKD), according to a new study. Just over a quarter of younger commercially insured patients with NDD-CKD have anemia.

Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions were the most common form of treatment, the study found.

“Our study is the first to look at anemia prevalence and treatment across older Medicare-covered and younger commercially insured non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease patients in the US,” said lead investigator Wendy L. St. Peter, PharmD, of the University of Minnesota and the Chronic Disease Research Group in Minneapolis.

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Dr St. Peter and her colleagues analyzed data from 283,262 Medicare patients (aged 66 years and older) and a younger group of 56,188 commercially insured patients (aged 18 to 63 years) with stage 3–5 CKD. Results showed that 148,550 (52%) of the Medicare patients and 15,716 (28%) of the commercially insured patients had anemia, the investigators reported at the American Society of Nephrology’s 2016 Kidney Week meeting. The prevalence of anemia rose as CKD stage and patient age increased. RBC transfusion was used to treat anemia in 22.2% of Medicare patients and 11.7% of commercially insured patients. The next most common form of treatment was erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (12.7% and 10.8% of patients, respectively) and intravenous iron (6.7% and 9.4% of patients, respectively).

The researchers used the 20% Medicare database and the MarketScan database to identify Medicare and commercially insured patients, respectively.

The study was sponsored by AstraZeneca and FibroGen.

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St. Peter W, Guo H, Kabadi S, et al. Anemia prevalence and treatment in patients with non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease. Presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 2016 Kidney Week meeting, Chicago, November 16–20. Poster FR-PO766.