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Iron Deficiency Anemia Common in Heart Failure Patients

Deficiency responsible in about three-quarters of cases

THURSDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The cause of anemia in about three-quarters of patients with congestive heart failure is iron deficiency, according to study findings published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

John N. Nanas, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Athens School of Medicine in Greece, and colleagues investigated the causes of anemia in 37 patients who were hospitalized for decompensated advanced congestive heart failure and had clinically significant anemia (hemoglobin less than 12 g/dL for men and less than 11.5 g/dL for women).

The researchers found that 73 percent of patients had iron deficiency anemia, 5.4 percent had dilutional anemia, 2.7 percent had drug-induced anemia and the remaining 18.9 percent had no specific cause and were considered to have "anemia of chronic disease."

"In this group of patients, iron deficiency was the most common cause of anemia," the authors conclude. "The iron status of patients with end-stage chronic congestive heart failure should be thoroughly evaluated and corrected before considering other therapeutic interventions."

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