Optimal and continuous anaemia control in a cohort of dialysis patients in Switzerland

BMC Nephrol. 2008 Dec 11:9:16. doi: 10.1186/1471-2369-9-16.


Background: Guidelines for the management of anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) recommend a minimal haemoglobin (Hb) target of 11 g/dL. Recent surveys indicate that this requirement is not met in many patients in Europe. In most studies, Hb is only assessed over a short-term period. The aim of this study was to examine the control of anaemia over a continuous long-term period in Switzerland.

Methods: A prospective multi-centre observational study was conducted in dialysed patients treated with recombinant human epoetin (EPO) beta, over a one-year follow-up period, with monthly assessments of anaemia parameters.

Results: Three hundred and fifty patients from 27 centres, representing 14% of the dialysis population in Switzerland, were included. Mean Hb was 11.9 +/- 1.0 g/dL, and remained stable over time. Eighty-five % of the patients achieved mean Hb >or= 11 g/dL. Mean EPO dose was 155 +/- 118 IU/kg/week, being delivered mostly by subcutaneous route (64-71%). Mean serum ferritin and transferrin saturation were 435 +/- 253 microg/L and 30 +/- 11%, respectively. At month 12, adequate iron stores were found in 72.5% of patients, whereas absolute and functional iron deficiencies were observed in only 5.1% and 17.8%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that diabetes unexpectedly influenced Hb towards higher levels (12.1 +/- 0.9 g/dL; p = 0.02). One year survival was significantly higher in patients with Hb >or= 11 g/dL than in those with Hb <11 g/dL (19.7% vs 7.3%, p = 0.006).

Conclusion: In comparison to European studies of reference, this survey shows a remarkable and continuous control of anaemia in Swiss dialysis centres. These results were reached through moderately high EPO doses, mostly given subcutaneously, and careful iron therapy management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia / prevention & control*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Renal Dialysis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult