Background and objective: The search for novel and modifiable risk factors in heart failure (HF), a condition with still high mortality and morbidity rates, can open new strategies for treatment of a growing number of patients. We decided to evaluate the prevalence of anemia and determine its influence on the prognosis of hospitalized HF patients. Patients and method: 557 consecutive patients hospitalized for HF between 31st January 2000 and 31st December 2002 in a Cardiology Department of a tertiary hospital were studied. Demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as treatment upon hospital discharge and survival data were obtained in May 2003. RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 1.4 years. 44.5% of the whole group of patients presented anemia with mean (standard deviation) hemoglobin levels of 111 (12) g/l, were older, with higher prevalence of ischemic cardiopathy, had higher levels of globular sedimentation rate but lower cholesterol and glomerular filtration rate levels. The prescription of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and betablockers was less frequent among patients with anemia. The presence of anemia was related in a independent way with higher mortality (relative risk: 2.554; p = 0.001), the relation between survival and haemoglobin levels being direct. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of anemia among hospitalized HF patients is very high and its presence constitutes a powerful mortality determinant in this group of patients.
PMID: 16324493 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]