Exceeding hemoglobin target levels in US hemodialysis patients receiving epoetin, 1999 to 2002

Robert N. Foley, Rui Zhang, David T. Gilbertson, Stephan Dunning, Areef Ishani, Allan J. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Despite emerging concerns that exceeding anemia targets with erythropoiesis stimulating agents may be risky for hemodialysis patients, the magnitude of and risk factors for the problem have received little attention, particularly regarding year-to-year comparisons. We studied monthly hemoglobin and epoetin levels in 41,101 patients aged at least 65 years who initiated hemodialysis between 1999 and 2002, with upper targets defined by hemoglobin levels of 120 and 130 g/L, respectively. While baseline hemoglobin values and epoetin doses rose from year to year, their rates of change during follow-up declined (p < 0.0001). Similar patterns were seen after reaching hemoglobin levels of 110 g/L; comparing 1999 to 2002, the proportions reaching 120 and 130 g/L in the ensuing 9 months increased from 90% to 96% (p < 0.0001) and from 56% to 69%, respectively (p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis showed that, while more recent years of dialysis inception and initial epoetin dose were associated with all 3 outcomes, higher baseline hemoglobin levels were associated with reaching levels of 110 and 120 g/L, but not 130 g/L. Exceeding hemoglobin level targets has become widespread in the United States and is associated with changes in epoetin dosing practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-339
Number of pages7
JournalHemodialysis International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007


  • Anemia
  • Epoetin
  • Hemodialysis
  • Hemoglobin

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