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Negative Iron Balance Predicts Survival Rate In Patients With Acute Heart Failure

Update Date: May 17, 2014 10:08 AM EDT

Negative iron balance predicts acute heart failure survival, according to a new research. 

Up until now, iron deficiency has been measured using serum ferritin to track iron stores and transferrin saturation to assess iron utilization in the cells. However, these method cannot be reliably interpreted in acute clinical settings because they are influenced by inflammation and oxidative. 

"Patients with acute heart failure have a major collapse in homeostasis. Iron is a key micronutrient that is required for the maintenance of homeostasis. Iron is needed for cellular metabolism and deficiency leads to severely impaired energy metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction," said Professor Ewa Jankowska, first author of the study, in the press release.

"Previous studies have shown that patients at high cardiovascular risk - for example diabetics with coronary artery disease or patients with stable chronic heart failure - may develop iron deficiency which leads to recurrent hospitalisations and increased mortality."

The new research has provided a more sensitive measure for acute heart failure that can  characterize iron deficiency in these settings too.

"We have data showing that iron may be important for clinical outcomes in chronic heart failure and correction of iron deficiency in these patients is beneficial. This is the first study of iron status in acute heart failure," added Professor Piotr Ponikowski, last author of the study.

The study considered around 165 patients that were hospitalized for acute heart failure. Researchers also accessed the prevalence of NIB and its impact on mortality over 12 months. 

"Our study shows that deranged iron status is common in acute heart failure. Mortality in the patients with NIB was high during the 12 month follow up, whereas all of the patients with no iron abnormalities survived to one year," said Professor Jankowska. 

The research has been presented at the Heart Failure Congress 2014 in Athens, Greece. 

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