• chronic kidney disease;
  • anemia;
  • nursing home;
  • skilled nursing facility

OBJECTIVES: To assess the independent contribution of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and age to anemia in older nursing home residents.

DESIGN: Retrospective.

SETTING: Skilled nursing facility.

PARTICIPANTS: Nursing home residents with records in the Beverly Healthcare Data Warehouse who were admitted to a nursing home between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2003; were alive as of January 31, 2004; and had hemoglobin and serum creatinine (SCr) values available for analysis.

MEASUREMENTS: Prevalence of anemia (hemoglobin <13 g/dL for men and <12 g/dL for women) and CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min per 1.73 m2, according to Modification of Diet in Renal Disease criteria) and the contribution of CKD and age to the prevalence of anemia.

RESULTS: Six thousand two hundred resident records were analyzed (70% female, 85% Caucasian). Overall, 59.6% of residents were anemic, and 43.1% had CKD, and residents with CKD were more likely to have anemia (64.9% with vs 55.7% without CKD; odds ratio (OR)=1.47, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.33–1.63). Although older age was associated with lower hemoglobin values primarily in residents without CKD (Spearman rank correlation coefficient (r)=−0.10, P<.001), age had no association with hemoglobin in CKD (Spearman r=0.01, P=.60). The greater risk of anemia in the presence of CKD persisted in each age category (OR=2.07, 95% CI=1.53–2.80, aged 65–74; OR=1.44, 95% CI=1.21–1.70, aged 75–84; and OR=1.35, 95% CI=1.15–1.57, aged ≥85).

CONCLUSION: Overall, these results suggest that CKD contributes more strongly than older age to the high prevalence of anemia in older nursing home residents.