Background: Anaemia is a common finding in patients with diabetes, particularly in those with overt nephropathy or renal impairment. In tertiary clinics, at least one outpatient in five with diabetes has anaemia, for whom it constitutes a significant additional burden. Discussion: Anaemia is associated with an increased risk of diabetic complications including nephropathy, retinopathy and macrovascular disease. Anaemia may also be significant in determining the outcome of heart failure and hypoxia-induced organ damage in diabetes. While several factors contribute to the increased prevalence of anaemia in diabetes, the failure of the kidney to increase erythropoietin in response to falling haemoglobin appears to be the dominant factor. Although there is a clear rationale for correcting anaemia in people with diabetes, it remains to be established whether this will lead to improved outcomes. Moreover, the balance of risks, costs, and benefits remains to be established in patients with diabetes. The Trial to Reduce Cardiovascular Events with Aranesp (darbepoetin alpha) Therapy (TREAT) is a randomised controlled trial designed to determine the impact of anaemia correction on mortality and non-fatal cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes and stage 3-4 nephropathy. Conclusion: It is anticipated that TREAT will help to define the optimal approach to the management of anaemia in diabetes.
- Diabetic nephropathy
- Microvascular disease