Anemia is common in heart failure and is associated with poor outcomes: insights from a cohort of 12 065 patients with new-onset heart failure.
BACKGROUND: Although previous work has suggested that anemia is associated with an increased mortality in selected patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), little is known about the prevalence and predictors of anemia, or whether anemia is an independent prognostic factor in unselected, community-based patients with CHF. METHODS AND RESULTS: We analyzed a population-based cohort of patients with new-onset CHF from a database of patients discharged from 138 acute-care hospitals in Alberta, Canada, between April 1993 and March 2001. Logistic regression, Kaplan-Meier survival analyses, and Cox proportional hazards model were used. Among the 12 065 patients with CHF (median age 78 years), 17% had anemia, 58% of whom had anemia of chronic disease. After adjustment for clinical and demographic variables, patients with anemia were more likely to be older (odds ratio [OR] 1.01 per year) and female (OR 1.2 [95% confidence interval 1.1 to 1.3]) and to have a history of chronic renal insufficiency (OR=3.2 [95% confidence interval 2.8 to 3.6]), or hypertension (OR 1.3 [95% confidence interval 1.2 to 1.5]). Hazard ratios for mortality, adjusting for covariates, were 1.34 (1.24 to 1.46) in anemic patients, and 1.36 (1.23 to 1.50) in those patients with anemia of chronic disease. CONCLUSIONS: In this large cohort of community-dwelling patients with CHF, anemia is common and an independent prognostic factor for mortality. Further research into the mechanisms of anemia in CHF and randomized controlled trials to test whether correction of anemia improves prognosis in CHF are needed.
Ezekowitz, JA; McAlister, FA; Armstrong, PW
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