Skip to main content

Prevalence of anaemia in patients with Diabetes Mellitus



Anaemia is an increasingly recognised entity in patients with diabetes mellitus.


We aimed to determine the prevalence of anaemia in our population of patients with diabetes, and to examine the factors associated with anaemia.


The haemoglobin (Hb) levels in a consecutive series of patients attending for annual review of their diabetes over a three-month period were measured. Patients were classified as anaemic as per the WHO criteria.


During the period of study, 270 patients attended for review. Eleven per cent of males and 16% of females were anaemic. Seventy four per cent of anaemic patients had a serum creatinine <110μmol/l and 72% of anaemic patients had a calculated creatinine clearance of >60ml/min.


Anaemia was relatively common in patients attending for routine out-patient diabetes clinic review. The high prevalence of anaemia supports the routine screening for anaemia in the diabetes out-patient clinic, including in those without overt nephropathy.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Thomas MC, Maclsaac RJ, Tsalamandris C, et al. Anemia in patients with type 1 diabetes.J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004;89(9): 4359–63.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Thomas MC, Maclsaac RJ, Tsalamandris C, et al. Unrecognized anemia in patients with diabetes: a cross-sectional survey.Diabetes Care 2003;26(4): 1164–9.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Thomas MC, Maclsaac RJ, Tsalamandris C, et al. The burden of anaemia in type 2 diabetes and the role of nephropathy: a cross-sectional audit.Nephrol Dial Transplant 2004; 19(7): 1792–7.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Davis MD, Fisher MR, Gangnon RE, et al. Risk factors for high-risk proliferative diabetic retinopathy and severe visual loss: Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study Report #18.Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1998;39(2): 233–52.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Deray G, Heurtier A, Grimaldi A, et al. Anemia and diabetes.Am J Nephrol 2004;24(5): 522–6.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Bosman DR, Winkler AS, Marsden JT, et al. Anemia with erythropoietin deficiency occurs early in diabetic nephropathy.Diabetes Care 2001;24(3): 495–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. A.D.A. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes.Diabetes Care 2005;28(Supp11): S4.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Ueda H, Ishimura E, Shoji T, et al. Factors affecting progression of renal failure in patients with type 2 diabetes.Diabetes Care 2003;26(5): 1530–4.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Friedman EA, L’Esperance FA, Brown CD, et al. Treating azotemia-induced anemia with erythropoietin improves diabetic eye disease.Kidney Int Suppl 2003(87):S57-63.

  10. WHO/UNICEF/UNU. Iron deficiency anaemia: assessment, prevention, and control.WHO/NHD/01.3 2007(Geneva): ida_assessment_prevention_control.pdf.

  11. Astor BC, Muntner P, Levin A, et al. Association of kidney function with anemia:the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988–1994).Arch Intern Med 2002;162(12): 1401–8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. El-Achkar TM, Ohmit SE, McCullough PA, et al. Higher prevalence of anemia with diabetes mellitus in moderate kidney insufficiency:The Kidney Early Evaluation Program.Kidney Int 2005;67(4): 1483–8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Winkler AS, Marsden J, Chaudhuri KR, et al. Erythropoietin depletion and anaemia in diabetes mellitus.Diabet Med 1999;16(10): 813–9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Laville M. New strategies in anaemia management: ACORD (Anaemia CORrection in Diabetes) trial.Acta Diabetol 2004;41 Suppl 1: S18–22.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Sreenan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cawood, T.J., Buckley, U., Murray, A. et al. Prevalence of anaemia in patients with Diabetes Mellitus. Ir J Med Sci 175, 25 (2006).

Download citation

  • DOI:


  • Diabetic Nephropathy
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Urinary Albumin Excretion
  • Anaemic Patient