Prevalence of anemia in patients admitted to hospital with a primary diagnosis of congestive heart failure

Dov Wexler, Donald Silverberg*, David Sheps, Miriam Blum, Gad Keren, Adrian Iaina, Doron Schwartz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To find the prevalence of anemia in patients hospitalized with the primary diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF). Background: There is growing evidence that anemia is common in CHF and may contribute to the high morbidity and mortality associated with this condition. However, there is considerable disagreement about the prevalence of anemia in this condition. Methods: In 338 consecutive patients who were admitted to the medical wards with a primary diagnosis of CHF we extracted from the charts the hemoglobin (Hb), serum creatinine, age, sex, New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class, presence of smoking, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and the primary cardiac etiology of the CHF. Anemia was considered to be present when the Hb on admission was <12 g/dl. Results: All the patients were NYHA functional class III-IV. One hundred seventy seven (52.4%) of the 338 patients had a Hb on admission that was <12 g/dl. The mean Hb for the entire group was 12.0±1.8 g/dl. One hundred three (51.0%) of the 202 males were anemic compared to 74 (54.4%) of the 136 women. The mean serum creatinine was 1.7±1.1 mg/dl. The prevalence of renal insufficiency (serum creatinine >1.5 mg%) was 47.6%. There was a negative correlation between the level of serum creatinine and Hb (r=-0.294) P<0.00001. Of the 177 patients who were anemic, most of 114 (64.4%) had a serum creatinine >1.5 mg/dl. Conclusions: Anemia is a common finding in patients hospitalized with CHF and most anemic CHF patients have some degree of renal insufficiency. In view of the negative effect of anemia on cardiac function, it may be a common and important contributor to the mortality and morbidity of CHF in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Anemia
  • Erythropoietin
  • Heart failure
  • Iron
  • Renal failure


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