Skill Checkup: A 59-Year-Old Man With a 4-Year History of Non-Dialysis Chronic Kidney Disease Presents With Anemia

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN


September 09, 2022

Based on the patient's presentation and history, this is likely a case of iron deficiency anemia, defined by an Hgb level < 13 g/dl in men and < 12 g/dl in women by the World Health Organization. Anemia in CKD develops primarily as a result of the decreased renal synthesis of erythropoietin (EPO). According to Wong and colleagues, most patients with CKD will experience anemia as a complication, and its prevalence increases with a longer duration of CKD, rising from 40% in stage III to 70% in stage V.

Anemia is an independent risk factor for death and typically may present with fatigue, impaired cognitive and immune function, reduced exercise capacity, and generally reduced quality of life. Targeting these symptoms has been classified as a high priority in patients with CKD.


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