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Iron Improves Outcomes of Heart and Kidney Failure

Clinical outcome, quality of life improved

TUESDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) --Anemic patients with heart and kidney failure have improved clinical outcome and quality of life after treatment with intravenous iron without erythropoietin, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Jorge E. Toblli, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from Hospital Aleman in Buenos Aires, Argentina, randomized 40 anemic patients with chronic heart failure and chronic renal failure to 200 mg saline or intravenous iron complex a week for 5 weeks. Patients did not receive erythropoietin.

After 6 months, the researchers found that patients receiving iron had significantly improved hematology, creatinine clearance, and lower NT-pro-brain natriuretic peptide and C-reactive protein levels. This group also had significantly improved left ventricular ejection fraction percentage, 6-minute walk test, Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire score, and fewer hospitalizations.

The study "raise[s] the possibility that an alternative strategy different than that of using erythropoietin analogs to treat patients with heart failure and anemia might work," Gary S. Francis, M.D., and Anne Kanderian, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

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