Iron deficiency and anemia in heart failure
Guvenc, Tolga Sinan
Yilmaz, Mehmet Birhan
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Heart failure is an important community health problem. Prevalence and incidence of heart failure have continued to rise over the years. Despite recent advances in heart failure therapy, prognosis is still poor, rehospitalization rate is very high, and quality of life is worse. Co-morbidities in heart failure have negative impact on clinical course of the disease, further impair prognosis, and add difficulties to treatment of clinical picture. Therefore, successful management of co-morbidities is strongly recommended in addition to conventional therapy for heart failure. One of the most common co-morbidities in heart failure is presence of iron deficiency and anemia. Current evidence suggests that iron deficiency and anemia are more prevalent in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction, as well as those with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction. Moreover, iron deficiency and anemia are referred to as independent predictors for poor prognosis in heart failure. There is strong relationship between iron deficiency or anemia and severity of clinical status of heart failure. Over the last two decades, many clinical investigations have been conducted on clinical effectiveness of treatment of iron deficiency or anemia with oral iron, intravenous iron, and erythropoietin therapies. Studies with oral iron and erythropoietin therapies did not provide any clinical benefit and, in fact, these therapies have been shown to be associated with increase in adverse clinical outcomes. However, clinical trials in patients with iron deficiency in the presence or absence of anemia have demonstrated considerable clinical benefits of intravenous iron therapy, and based on these positive outcomes, iron deficiency has become target of therapy in management of heart failure. The present report assesses current approaches to iron deficiency and anemia in heart failure in light of recent evidence.