High prevalence of iron deficiency in patients with acute decompensated heart failure

Eur J Heart Fail. 2014 Sep;16(9):984-91. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.139. Epub 2014 Jul 28.


Aims: Limited data are available on iron parameters in patients hospitalized for decompensation of chronic heart failure.

Methods and results: Iron parameters of patients hospitalized for decompensation of chronic heart failure were prospectively assessed during the 72 h after hospital admission. Iron deficiency was defined according to the 2012 European Society of Cardiology Guidelines. Overall, 411 men (75 ± 12 years; 75% NYHA functional classes III/IV) and 421 women (81 ± 11 years; 71% NYHA classes III/IV) were evaluated. The prevalence of iron deficiency was 69% in men and 75% in women (including 41% and 49% with absolute iron deficiency, respectively). The prevalence of anaemia in men (<13 g/dL) was 68% and in women (<12 g/dL) it was 52%. Among non-anaemic patients, the prevalence of iron deficiency was 57% in men and 79% in women. Only 9% of patients received iron supplementation at the time of admission (oral, 9%; intravenous, 0.2%). Multivariate analysis showed that anaemia and antiplatelet treatment in men, and diabetes and low C-reactive protein in women, were independently associated with iron deficiency.

Conclusions: Iron deficiency is very common in patients admitted for acute decompensated heart failure, even among non-anaemic patients. Given the benefit of iron therapy in chronic heart failure, our results emphasize the need to assess iron status not only in chronic heart failure patients, but even more so in those admitted for worsening heart failure, regardless of gender, heart failure severity, or haemoglobin level. Initiating iron therapy in hospitalized heart failure patients needs to be investigated.

Keywords: Acute decompensated heart failure; Anaemia; Chronic heart failure; Iron deficiency.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / blood
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / etiology
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / blood
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies


  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Iron