Anaemia is present in ∼40% of cases of congestive heart failure (CHF) and is associated with a higher mortality, a lower left ventricular ejection fraction, a lower cardiac functional status, a higher rate of hospitalization, signs of malnutrition, a lower exercise capacity, a progressive fall in renal function, an increased need for high dose diuretics, hyponatraemia, an increased plasma volume, a reduced red cell volume and a lower quality of life. In both uncontrolled and controlled studies, correction of the anaemia with subcutaneous erythropoietin and, in some cases, with the addition of intravenous iron, has been shown to improve these parameters. A vicious circle is present between CHF, chronic kidney insufficiency (CKI) and anaemia, each capable of causing or being caused by the other, the so-called cardio renal syndrome. If larger randomized, controlled, double-blind studies confirm these observations, correction of the anaemia may prove to be a useful addition to the prevention and progression of both CHF and CKI. Cooperation between nephrologists, cardiologists and other internists to identify and treat these anaemic CHF patients early will help prevent progression of both the cardiac and renal disease.
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure