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Iron Improves Exercise Capacity in Heart Failure

Improvement better in anemic patients

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Intravenous iron improves exercise capacity and symptoms in patients with chronic heart failure, with better improvement for anemic patients, according to research published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Darlington O. Okonko, from Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned 35 patients with chronic heart failure to no treatment (11 patients) or intravenous iron (24 patients) for 16 weeks. Patients were evenly divided between anemic or non-anemic patients in each treatment group.

The researchers found that the group receiving iron had significant improvements in mean ferritin, peak oxygen consumption, duration of treadmill exercise, New York Heart Association functional class and patient global assessment. Anemic patients had better improvements in mean peak oxygen consumption, while non-anemic patients had significant improvements in New York Heart Association functional class. Adverse events were similar in both groups.

"Intravenous iron loading improved exercise capacity and symptoms in patients with chronic heart failure and evidence of abnormal iron metabolism," Okonko and colleagues conclude. "Benefits were more evident in anemic patients."

Abstract
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