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Anaemia is common in patients with heart failure and is often associated with iron deficiency, study says

25.07.16 |
Iron Deficiency Blog

Anaemia is common in patients with heart failure and is often associated with iron deficiency, as shown in a recent study done in the UK. According to these researchers, it is likely that the severity of both conditions contributes to an adverse outcome in patients with heart failure. 

The causes of anaemia in heart failure patients are difficult to identify. However, this study suggests that, in the specific case of heart failure patients, iron deficiency can make an important contribution to the development of anaemia. The authors mention a few other culprits, such as reduced iron absorption, impaired nutrition or increased blood loss.

Regardless of its cause, anaemia – or lack of haemoglobin - will result in an increased workload for the heart, as it will need to pump more blood to transport enough oxygen to the cells. Iron is also an essential component of the muscle’s protein and plays an important role in the chemical reactions that produce energy for the body to work. The combination of these two factors could explain why heart failure symptoms worsen when there is not enough iron.

 

Source: Cleland JF, Zhang J, Pellicori P, et al. Prevalence and Outcomes of Anemia and Hematinic Deficiencies in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure. JAMA Cardiol. Published online June 29, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.1161.