Anemia Does Not Predict Mortality in Elderly Patients With Heart Failure

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Recent studies suggest that anemia is an independent predictor of adverse outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF), but the importance of anemia in elderly HF patients is unclear. To investigate this relationship, the authors quantified the prognostic importance of anemia in elderly vs younger patients with HF was performed. A chart review of 359 patients hospitalized in 1999 with HF was performed. Patients were categorized based on their hemoglobin (Hgb) level (<11.5, 11.5–13.4, >13.4 g/dL), and the authors used time-to-event analyses to test the hypothesis that Hgb predicted mortality over a mean follow-up of 25 months. Lower Hgb predicted worse survival in patients younger than 75 years (n=204; P=.03), but there was no correlation between Hgb level and mortality in patients 75 or older (n=155; P not significant). The authors conclude that anemia is not an important predictor of long-term survival in very elderly patients hospitalized with HF.

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