Anemia in New-Onset Congestive Heart Failure Inpatients Admitted for Acute Decompensation

Eur J Intern Med. 2006 May;17(3):179-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2005.11.015.


Background: Anemia may have important deleterious effects on patients with heart failure. We investigated the presence and causes of anemia among patients admitted because of new-onset congestive heart failure. The prognostic value of anemia was also evaluated.

Methods: We evaluated the presence of anemia, which was defined as hemoglobin concentrations lower than 13g/dl in men and lower than 12g/dl in women. One-year mortality and hospital readmission rates were also studied.

Results: A total of 103patients were included in the study. Their mean age was 78.5years and 53% were women. Mean hemoglobin levels were 12.4g/l. Forty-four patients (43%) had anemia at the time of hospital admission, 34 of them had true anemia and 10spurious anemia caused by hemodilution. Patients taking preadmission angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors had more severe anemia than those not taking them (p<0.01). The presence of anemia was not associated with an increase in mortality (p=0.3) or in readmission rates (p=0.1) after 1year of follow-up.

Conclusions: Anemia is frequent in new-onset heart failure patients admitted for acute decompensation. However, the presence of anemia does not seem to be related to an increase in mortality or readmission in this small cohort.