Diabetes, Anemia, and Kidney Disease Patients Have High Risk of Acquiring Heart Disease

Diabetes, Anemia, and Kidney Disease Patients Have High Risk of Acquiring Heart Disease

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found out that people with diabetes, kidney diseases and anemia has a higher risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases or death if their body doesn’t respond to anti-anemia drug.

Testing the patient’s response to the drug and keeping the blood level low reduces the risk. Most patients needed higher doses but ended up getting lower hemoglobin. The conclusion of the study may lead to a better chance for patients.

Dr. Robert Toto, professor of internal medicine and clinical sciences and a senior author of the study found out unusual findings which could help in solving the problem. Darbepoetin alpha also known as Aranesp, stimulates the production of red blood cells to offset anemia.

According to the Trial to Reduce Cardiovascular Events with Aranesp Therapy (TREAT) study works like a placebo for civilizing both outcomes for cardiovascular and kidney related problems. However, it lowers the risk for diabetics, anemic and has kidney disorder. On the other hand, people who receives darbepoetin alpha doubled the risk of stroke. Aside from stroke, cancer is also a major cause of death among people getting the medicine.

Darbepoetin alpha is one of the groups of anti-anemia drug that imitates erythropoietin – a hormone which accelerates red blood cells production.

In the US alone, there are a roughly 1 million cases of people, which has type 2 diabetes, anemia and chronic kidney disease.

All in all, there are about 4,038 participants that consist of patients with type 2 diabetes, anemia, and kidney trouble. 1,872 received shots of the drug while there are only 1,889 that received placebo injections.

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Aside from getting darbepoetin alpha, participants were also provided with recurring subcutaneous injections of the drug that intends to increases the hemoglobin levels. Hemoglobin is the red blood cells that transport 13 grams per deciliter of oxygen in the body. Once that someone in the control group dropped in the risky hemoglobin level below 9 g/dl, they are given “rescue therapy” with darbepoetin until the hemoglobin rises.

To analyze the result, the researchers separated the participants into groups: those people whose hemoglobin levels rapidly improved in reaction to early doses of darbepoetin alpha, and those individuals whose bodies responded feebly were the hemoglobin level stays low.

Participants that have weak initial response to the drug had a higher rate of death, heart attack, stroke or heart failure, according to researchers.

The study doesn’t provide whether the people have higher risk because they have poorer health to begin with or because of the drug they used.

It raises the uncertainty of treatment for anemia to be adjusted according to the condition of the patient.