Hong Kong Med J 2013;19:214–21 | Number 3, June 2013 | Epub 3 Apr 2013
Anaemia and type 2 diabetes: implications from a retrospectively studied primary care case series
Catherine XR Chen, YC Li, SL Chan, KH Chan
Department of Family Medicine and GOPC, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To identify the prevalence of anaemia in Chinese type 2 diabetic patients managed in a primary care setting and to explore its associations with cardiovascular complications and kidney disease.
DESIGN. Retrospective case series study.
SETTING. General Out-patient Clinic of Hospital Authority, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Chinese type 2 diabetic patients who had annual assessments between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2011 were recruited. Their complete blood picture, serum creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate (calculated by Modification of Diet in Renal Disease method), haemoglobin A1c, and urine albumin-creatinine ratio were retrieved. Anaemia was defined as a haemoglobin level of <130 g/L in men and <120 g/L in women (World Health Organization criteria). Student's t test and analysis of variance were used to analyse continuous variables and the Chi squared test for categorical data. Pearson’s correlation coefficient and multivariate logistic regression were used to examine associations between haemoglobin level and different variables including age, gender, serum creatinine level, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and urine albumin-creatinine ratio. All statistical tests were two-sided, and a P value of <0.05 was considered significant.
RESULTS. Among 6325 Chinese type 2 diabetic patients fulfilling the inclusion criteria, 1441 were found to have anaemia with a period prevalence of 22.8%. The prevalence of anaemia increased significantly with deterioration of renal function. Compared with diabetic patients with normal haemoglobin levels, anaemic diabetic patients had a higher co-morbidity rate for stroke, ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease (P<0.001). Independent predictors for haemoglobin level among diabetic patients were age, gender, serum creatinine level, estimated glomerular filtration rate, haemoglobin A1c, and urine albumin-creatinine ratio (P<0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that male gender, old age, increased serum creatinine level, decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate, elevated urine albumin-creatinine ratio, and co-morbidity with stroke or ischaemic heart disease were associated with greater odds for the presence of anaemia.
CONCLUSION. Anaemia is common among Chinese type 2 diabetic patients, particularly those with impaired renal function or established cardiovascular disease. Early detection of anaemia and prompt referral to specialist care for optimal treatment, if associated with severe renal impairment or high-risk proteinuria at the primary care settings, is recommended.
Key words: Anemia; Diabetes mellitus; Primary health care
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