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Anemia Worsens Prognosis For Chronic Heart Failure Patients

Last Updated: June 04, 2009.

Patients with chronic heart failure have a worse prognosis if they are also anemic, and the rate of hospitalization and mortality is related to the severity of the blood condition, according to a study published in the May/June issue of Congestive Heart Failure.

THURSDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic heart failure have a worse prognosis if they are also anemic, and the rate of hospitalization and mortality is related to the severity of the blood condition, according to a study published in the May/June issue of Congestive Heart Failure.

Sheng-Wen He, M.D., and Le-Xin Wang, M.D., of Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia, conducted a meta-analysis of 21 studies comprising 97,699 patients with chronic heart failure to assess the association between anemia and mortality risk. Anemia rates ranged from 10 percent to 58 percent in the studies.

The relative risk of death was 1.66 times higher in patients with anemia compared to those without anemia, and anemic patients had higher New York Heart Association class and lower left ventricular ejection fraction than their non-anemic counterparts, the investigators found.

"In multivariate analysis, anemia remained a significant, independent predictor of death or hospitalization for heart failure, with both outcomes being significantly higher in all New York Heart Association classes," the authors write. "Anemia is also more common in older patients and in patients with renal insufficiency, smaller body mass index, lower systolic blood pressure, and lower plasma levels of sodium. The results of this study may help to screen or manage anemia in chronic heart failure patients."

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