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Anemia Spikes Coronary Death Risk in Blacks

Last Updated: April 16, 2009.

Black patients with anemia are at higher risk of dying after percutaneous coronary intervention than their non-anemic cohorts, researchers report in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with anemia are at higher risk of dying after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) than their non-anemic cohorts, researchers report in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

To determine the impact of anemia on long-term PCI outcome, Shyam Poludasu, M.D., of the State University of New York in Brooklyn, and colleagues evaluated a total of 715 black patients who had received PCI with bolus-only glycoprotein IIb/IIIa between 2003 and 2005. The study cohorts included 313 patients with anemia (hemoglobin less than 13 g/dL for men and less than 12 g/dL for women) and a control group of 402 patients without anemia. The researchers followed the patients for a median of 3.2 years.

In follow-up, the investigators noted a total of 72 deaths in the study groups. The survival rate was 84 percent for anemic patients and 94 percent in the non-anemic control group. Stratifying the patients into three groups by hemoglobin level, the investigators found that those with low hemoglobin had an 80 percent survival rate, those with medium hemoglobin had an 87 percent survival rate, and those with high hemoglobin had a 95 percent survival rate. Overall, hemoglobin level was an independent and strong predictor of all-cause death (hazard ratio for death, 2.0), the researchers report.

"In a cohort of African-American subjects, we found a strong and statistically significant association between low hemoglobin concentrations and long-term all-cause mortality," the authors conclude.

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