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New anemia measure predicts risk of death in dialysis patients
Date:11/13/2007

f hemoglobin variability were associated with higher rates of death," says Dr. Feldman.

In healthy people, hemoglobin levels typically remain within a narrow range, ensuring consistent delivery of oxygen to organs and tissues. In dialysis patients, repeated drops in hemoglobin levelsand thus in the ability to deliver adequate levels of oxygenmay result in injury to organs. The heart muscle (myocardium) and autonomic nervous system may be especially vulnerable, which may help to explain the increased rates of cardiovascular disease and death in ESRD patients.

The new study identifies Hb-Var as a potentially valuable measure of the effects of low hemoglobin in ESRD, and lends new insights into how anemia affects outcomes in dialysis patients. Dr. Feldman concludes, "These findings may ultimately lead to health care practice changes regarding the management of anemiafor example, the type, dose, and timing of treatment with erythropoietin and ironthat might improve outcomes among hemodialysis patients."


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Contact: Shari Leventhal
sleventhal@asn-online.org
202-416-0658
American Society of Nephrology
Source:Eurekalert

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