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Age should not determine treatment for anaemia in kidney disease

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 05 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:722
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    Age should not determine whether or not patients are treated for anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease, recommends a guideline published last week.

    Anaemia is important because it contributes significantly to the heavy burden of symptoms associated with chronic kidney disease, the guideline warns, even though kidney disease is not the most common cause of anaemia. In the United Kingdom around 100 000 people currently have anaemia of chronic kidney disease.

    The guideline was developed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the body that advises on use of treatments by the NHS in England and Wales, and the National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions, a multi-professional centre that helps develop clinical guidance for the NHS. The guideline argues that the condition deserves more attention because it is potentially reversible with the appropriate treatment, including erythropoietin. Erythopoietin is a hormone produced by the kidneys that stimulates the formation …

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