Transplant patients suffering from anemia have a greater mortality rate

According to a new study in American Journal of Transplantation, kidney transplant patients suffering from anemia, a treatable blood deficiency, are more likely to die or suffer from organ failure than other transplant recipients.

"During a four year period following kidney transplantation, we found that anemic patients were 70 percent more likely to die following their transplant, and two and a half times more likely to again require dialysis," says study author Dr. Istvan Mucsi.

Anemia affects a large number of transplant recipients. "Between 15,000 and 20,000 transplant patients in the U.S. are likely to have severe enough anemia to be treated for it, but it is likely that only a fraction of patients actually receive treatment," says Dr. Mucsi.

It is currently unknown if treating anemia in kidney transplanted patients would improve patient survival; further research is needed. "In the interim, we believe it is prudent to focus more on the diagnosis of post-transplant anemia and also to apply appropriate guidelines that are available for its treatment in chronic kidney disease patients not yet requiring dialysis," says Dr. Mucsi.

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