Anemia linked with higher death risk in heart patients
Jun 18, 2009 - 3:42:04 PM

The presence of anaemia in patients with chronic heart failure is linked to a significantly higher risk of death.

Heart failure is a common and serious chronic illness. A large number of patients with heart failure also have anaemia, which is most likely a complication from poor heart function.

The aim of this study was to assess the impact of anaemia on the clinical outcomes of chronic heart failure - by a meta-analysis and systemic review of published literature.

A total of 97,699 patients with CHF were identified from the published studies. From a collective analysis, researchers found that when anaemia occurs, it worsens patient prognosis, making them more likely to be hospitalized or die from heart failure.

'Health professionals may need to improve current practices to better treat anaemia in patients with chronic heart failure,' said Lexin Wang, study co-author and head of the cardiovascular group at Charles Sturt University -, in Australia.

Even with contemporary medical treatment, the mortality rate from CHF is still high, reaching 40 percent in very sick patients, said a CSU release.

Given the clear association between anaemia, mortality rate and hospitalization rate, optimal treatment of anaemia, on top of other heart-failure-specific therapies, may reduce the rate of mortality and further improve patient's prognosis.

These findings will appear in Congestive Heart Failure journal.

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