Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 213-218

First online:

Anemia and cardiovascular disease in diabetic nephropathy

  • Samy I. McFarlaneAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Kings County Hospital Center Email author 
  • , Moro O. Salifu
  • , John Makaryus
  • , James R. Sowers

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in people with diabetes and in those with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Diabetes, occurring in epidemic proportions in the United States and worldwide, is also the leading cause of CKD and kidney failure. Identification of modifiable risk factors for CVD in patients with diabetes and CKD is thus of paramount importance. Anemia is increasingly recognized as a potential CVD risk factor in patients with diabetic nephropathy, in whom it is generally more severe and occurs at an earlier stage of CKD. In this review, we discuss the epidemiologic evidence, pathophysiologic mechanisms, and the current research findings, highlighting the role of anemia as a potential modifiable risk factor for CVD in patients with diabetic nephropathy, a particularly vulnerable population for CVD.