Aims/hypothesis: Anaemia is a common complication of renal impairment. It has been suggested that renal failure secondary to diabetes is associated with more severe anaemia, but this has not been clearly substantiated in the published literature. To clarify this, we undertook a single centre, retrospective study to identify the impact of diabetes on anaemia associated with renal impairment.
Materials and methods: Information on clinical, biochemical and haematological parameters of 2,052 stable ambulatory patients attending a single tertiary referral renal unit was collected. The impact of diabetic kidney disease on haemoglobin levels at all degrees of renal impairment was studied by comparison with patients with non-diabetic kidney disease after correcting for other commonly associated variables that influence anaemia in patients with renal impairment.
Results: Linear regression analysis showed lower haemoglobin in patients with diabetic kidney disease (p < 0.01). At chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages 3, 4 and 5, mean haemoglobin levels in patients with diabetic kidney disease compared with those in patients with non-diabetic kidney disease were 129.5 vs 136.9 g/l (p < 0.001), 120.5 vs 126.9 g/l (p < 0.001) and 107.1 vs 115.9 g/l (p < 0.01), respectively. At CKD stage 4 and 5 the two groups were comparable for ferritin, plasma intact parathyroid hormone levels, ACE inhibitor use and length of follow-up by a nephrologist.
Conclusions/interpretation: Diabetic kidney disease is associated with lower haemoglobin in comparison with non-diabetic kidney disease, especially at GFR <60 ml/min.