Anemia is a well-known complication of chronic kidney disease (CKD) that develops as kidney function declines. In most patients with CKD, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) declines over time, and as it does so, anemia becomes more prevalent and more severe. The relationship between anemia and CKD in elderly subjects is not as well defined as in younger populations. As discussed elsewhere in this book, the optimal definition of anemia in older subjects is a matter of some debate (1,2). Also, the estimation of the level of kidney function in older individuals poses some special problems that will be discussed.
Since the association of anemia and reduced kidney function in the general (i.e., non-elderly) population is discussed thoroughly elsewhere (3-5), this chapter focuses on specific issues pertinent to the assessment of kidney function in the elderly, the diagnosis and impact of CKD-related anemia in the elderly, and treatment of anemia in elderly subjects with CKD-related anemia.
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