High Hemoglobin Targets Not Helpful to Kidney Patients

Chronic kidney disease patients also at increased risk of hyperkalemia
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Aiming for a high hemoglobin target when treating chronic kidney disease patients for anemia is not more beneficial than targeting a lower level, according to a study published in the June 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while a second study in the same issue found that chronic kidney disease patients are at increased risk of hyperkalemia.

Fiona M. Clement, Ph.D., of the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues conducted a review of trials on erythropoietin-stimulating agents to treat anemia in chronic kidney disease patients and found that a target hemoglobin level over 12.0 g/dL does not offer significant improvements in health-related quality of life and that the preferred range is 9.0 to 12.0 g/dL.

Lisa M. Einhorn, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed 2,103,422 records from 245,808 veterans hospitalized at least once and with at least one serum potassium record. They found that chronic kidney disease patients were at higher risk for hyperkalemia.

"Given the association of hyperkalemia with chronic kidney disease and the elevated odds of death associated with hyperkalemia, this metabolic disturbance should be considered a disease-specific patient safety event," Einhorn and colleagues conclude. "More work is needed to see to what extent alterations in disease management will reduce the incidence of this patient safety indicator."

Abstract - Clement
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Abstract - Einhorn
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