The Mortality Risk Associated With Higher Hemoglobin: Is the Therapy to Blame?

Kidney Int. 2008 Sep;74(6):695-7. doi: 10.1038/ki.2008.263.


Recent trials have demonstrated a trend for increased mortality when patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or chronic kidney disease (CKD) are treated with erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs) to hemoglobin levels higher than recommended (>13 g/dl). Recent studies suggest that higher doses of ESAs, in themselves, may be at least partly responsible for this mortality risk. This is important, as more than 90% of patients with ESRD and approximately 20% of patients with CKD receive ESAs. Two new studies address this.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Erythropoietin / adverse effects*
  • Erythropoietin / analogs & derivatives
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Hemoglobins / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*


  • Hemoglobins
  • Erythropoietin