Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients want more information and support for managing anemia.

In a recent online poll of 294 patients reporting a CKD diagnosis, 45% said they wanted more information from health care practitioners, especially specialists. In addition, 72%, 62%, and 55% said they completely trust the information they receive from nephrologists, hematologists, and family doctors, respectively. Only 23% said they trust the information they get from online searches. Yet these same patients were more apt to seek information online (53%) or on social media (37%), rather than ask their nephrologists (35%).

The poll, sponsored by AstraZeneca, a maker of drugs to treat anemia, found that 55% of CKD patients did not know their hemoglobin (Hb) levels or had not received a blood test in the past year. A majority were aware of common symptoms of renal anemia, including fatigue, weakness, and dizziness. Many reported lack of energy (84%) and illness (31%). But 66% did not know that anemia could cause breathing difficulty. Anemia led some to worry that their condition could worsen (48%) or feel sad (41%) or nervous (24%).

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When doctors did not merely discuss anemia but various treatment options, patient confidence grew from 39% to more than 50%.

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Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Anemia: The Patient’s Perspective. AstraZeneca; December 18, 2018.