Anemia in patients with heart failure: Prevalence and prognostic role in a controlled trial and in clinical practice

Aldo P. Maggioni, Cristina Opasich, Inder Anand, Simona Barlera, Emanuele Carbonieri, Lucio Gonzini, Luigi Tavazzi, Roberto Latini, Jay Cohn

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126 Scopus citations


Background: Aims of the present study were (1) to confirm the prognostic role of anemia in patients with heart failure (HF) and (2) to analyze this aspect in relatively unselected patients with HF monitored prospectively in a community setting (IN-CHF), and in patients selected for enrolment into the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial (Val-HeFT). Methods and Results: In both Val-HeFT and IN-CHF Registry, anemia was defined as a hemoglobin (Hb) level ≤11 g/dL in women and ≤12 g/dL in men. Of the 2411 patients of the IN-CHF Registry, 15.5% had anemia, whereas in the 5010 patients of the Val-HeFT trial, the prevalence was 9.9%. In the IN-CHF registry, 1-year all-cause mortality was significantly higher in anemic patients (25.9%) than in patients without anemia (13.2%) (P < .0001). The association of anemia with mortality was confirmed by the multivariable analysis (hazard ratio [HR] 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20-1.97). The risk of death decreased by 9.7% for each gram of Hb. The Val-HeFT trial showed an all-cause mortality rate for anemic patients of 29.6% over a mean follow-up period of 22.4 months versus 18.5% (P < .0001) in patients without anemia. After adjustment, anemia retained its negative independent prognostic role (HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.04-1.52). When Hb was considered as a continuous variable, the risk of death decreased by 7.8% for each gram of Hb. Conclusions: Anemia was confirmed to be an independent negative prognostic factor in patients with HF. This finding is consistent in 2 different clinical contexts, a controlled trial and a registry in clinical practice, in which patient characteristics and outcome are largely different.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cardiac failure
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding of the Val-HeFT trial was provided by Novartis Pharma, Basel, Switzerland. The IN-CHF registry was partially supported by Merck Sharpe Dohme, Italy.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Anemia
  • Epidemiology
  • Heart failure
  • Prognosis


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