Iron Deficiency Anemia Overview

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia and among the most common complication of chronic kidney disease. Anemia is a condition where the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to deliver adequate oxygen throughout the body. This is caused by a lack of iron. When your body does not have enough iron, it will make fewer red blood cells or red blood cells that are too small.

IDA begins to develop in the early stages of chronic kidney disease and tends to worsen as CKD progresses. The majority of symptoms are mild at first and develop slowly. If left untreated, people with IDA may have a reduced quality of life and experience symptoms, including headaches, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, dizziness, concentration problems and muscle weakness.

It is estimated that approximately 16 million (1) people in the U.S. today have stages 3-5 CKD, with approximately 1.7 million (2) of these people under the care of a nephrologist. Of these patients, approximately 650,000 (2) have received treatment for IDA, with the majority treated with oral iron therapy that is typically not effective due to difficult to tolerate side effects and limited absorption (3). This results in a need for an improved treatment for IDA.

Sources: (1) U.S. Renal Data System, USRDS 2015 Annual Data Report, (2) Keryx proprietary market research, and (3) Locatelli et al. CJASN 2016