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Survey highlights physical and mental burden of anaemia of chronic kidney disease, with 41% of patients expressing feelings of social isolation

- Over half of surveyed patients reported that their disease dominates their day-to-day life 

- Experts call for improved understanding and better care

ADDLESTONE, UK, September 24, 2020 – Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. today announced findings from a European survey of 200 nephrologists and 203 patients with anaemia of chronic kidney disease (CKD), revealing the burden of the disease on patients’ physical and mental health. Over half of patients surveyed reported that their disease dominates their day-to-day life (57%), with 41% of patients expressing feelings of social isolation due to their condition. Experts believe a deeper understanding of the burden of anaemia of CKD on patients is needed amongst healthcare professionals, alongside a greater focus on patients’ quality of life in daily practice.

Anaemia is a common complication of CKD, affecting one in five CKD patients.[1] It causes symptoms such as low energy, fatigue and shortness of breath[2], which can affect patients at both work and home. Results from the survey show that symptoms impacted the daily lives of 83% of surveyed patients, which on average, resulted in them missing more than eight days of work per month. For almost half of surveyed patients (44%), their condition meant they had to stop work indefinitely. Beyond work, over two-thirds of surveyed patients (67%) reported needing help around the house, further demonstrating the far-reaching impact of anaemia of CKD on patients’ quality of life. See the survey infographic for additional insights from patients and nephrologists on the diagnosis, management and burden of living with anaemia of CKD.

An Expert Panel of five external members was convened by Astellas to provide their perspectives on the survey results. The Expert Panel included two leading professors of nephrology (UK and Spain), a specialist renal nurse (UK), the President of a European renal nurse association and the President of a national patient advocacy group (Spain). A detailed overview of the survey findings and Expert Panel insights can be found within the full survey report. Key observations and actions identified by the Expert Panel for the future management of the condition were as follows: 


‘There is a clear need to better understand which aspects of a patient’s condition are impacting their quality of life.’ Jennifer Ann Williams, Specialist Renal Nurse, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, UK.


‘It’s not surprising that patients experience social isolation as a result of their condition. You feel tired and you don’t want to go out or see friends, you don’t want to do anything.’ Daniel Gallego, President, National Federation of Associations for the Fight Against Kidney Diseases (ALCER), Spain.


‘It is important to take into account the individual characteristics of the patient when considering the impact their anaemia can have on their everyday life.’ Professor José Portolés Pérez, Nephrologist, Puerta de Hierro de Majadahonda University Hospital, Spain.


Together, these patient, nephrologist and expert insights demonstrate the need for improved understanding from nephrologists of the mental and physical burden of anaemia of CKD for patients, as well as a greater focus on patients’ quality of life in the management of the condition.


‘At Astellas, changing tomorrow is the ethos that guides everything we do. We recognise that addressing unmet need is often best achieved through working in collaboration with others. This survey is just one of the initiatives we are working on with patient groups and professional organisations to provide value to people with chronic kidney disease, their carers and the healthcare professionals that treat the condition.’ Gino Ciotti, Medical Director, Medical Affairs, Nephrology, Astellas.


To find out more about anaemia of CKD visit:


About Beyond CKD: Unveiling the hidden truth of anaemia

Between January to February 2020, market research company Research Partnership carried out a survey on behalf of Astellas Europe Limited to explore patient and nephrologist perceptions of CKD and anaemia of CKD.

Participants were recruited via online panels and were eligible if they were:

  • A patient diagnosed with anaemia of CKD
  • A nephrologist practicing for at least 2 years who sees a minimum of eight patients on treatment for anaemia of CKD from stages 3+


Participants took part in a 25-minute online quantitative survey.


To find out more about the survey, visit


About CKD and Anaemia

CKD is characterised by a progressive loss of kidney function caused by damage to the kidneys resulting from conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or immune-regulated inflammatory conditions.[3] Worldwide one in 10 people are living with CKD.[4] In Europe, one in eight people are living with CKD4. Based on UK data, one in five CKD patients are affected by anaemia; this rate increases to one in two in people with the most severe CKD (CKD stage 5).1 Globally, CKD is predicted to become the fifth most common cause of premature death by 2040.[5] It is a critical worldwide healthcare issue that represents a large and growing unmet medical need.


Anaemia is a common complication of CKD,[6] resulting from the failing kidneys’ ability to produce erythropoietin, reduced oxygen sensing, and increased hepcidin and iron deficiency resulting from chronic inflammation. It is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in dialysis and non-dialysis populations, increasing in both prevalence and severity as kidney disease worsens.[7] CKD anaemia increases the risk of adverse cardiovascular events, worsens renal outcomes and can negatively impact patients’ quality of life.[8]-,[9],[10]


About Astellas

Astellas Pharma Inc., is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients. For more information, please visit our website at


Astellas Cautionary Notes

In this press release, statements made with respect to current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs, and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Astellas. These statements are based on management’s current assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in general economic conditions and in laws and regulations, relating to pharmaceutical markets, (ii) currency exchange rate fluctuations, (iii) delays in new product launches, (iv) the inability of Astellas to market existing and new products effectively, (v) the inability of Astellas to continue to effectively research and develop products accepted by customers in highly competitive markets and (vi) infringements of Astellas’ intellectual property rights by third parties.


Information about pharmaceutical products (including products currently in development) that is included in this press release is not intended to constitute an advertisement or medical advice.

[1] Dmitrieva O, de Lusignan S, Macdougall IC, et al. Association of anaemia in primary care patients with chronic kidney disease: cross sectional study of quality improvement in chronic kidney disease (QICKD) trial data. BMC Nephrol 2013;14:24.


[2] National Kidney Foundation. Anemia and Chronic Kidney Disease. Available from: [Last accessed: June 2020.]


[3] Ojo A. Addressing the Global Burden of Chronic Kidney Disease Through Clinical and Translational Research. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc 2014;125:229–246.


[4] International Society of Nephrology. Chronic Kidney Disease. Global Kidney Health Atlas 2017. Available from: [Last accessed: June 2020].


[5] Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Seattle, WA: IHME, 2018. Available from: [Last accessed: June 2020].


[6] McClellan W, Aronoff SL, Kline Bolton W, et al. The prevalence of anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease. Curr Med Res Opin 2004;20:1501–1510.


[7] Stauffer ME and Fan T. Prevalence of Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States. PLoS One 2014;9:e84943.


[8] Mohanram A, Zhang Z, Shahinfar S, et al. Anemia and end-stage renal disease in patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy. Kidney Int 2004;66:1131–1138.


[9] Weiner DE, Tighiouart H, Stark PC, et al. Kidney disease as a risk factor for recurrent cardiovascular disease and mortality. Am J Kidney Dis 2004;44:198–206.


[10] Eriksson D, Goldsmith D, Teitsson S, et al. Cross-sectional survey in CKD patients across Europe describing the association between quality of life and anaemia. BMC Nephrol 2016;17:97.

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Last Updated: 24-Sep-2020