Prevalence and prognostic implications of anaemia and iron deficiency in Tanzanian patients with heart failure

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To determine the prevalence, correlates and prognostic implications of anaemia and iron deficiency (ID) in patients with heart failure (HF) in Tanzania.


This was a cross-sectional and prospective observational study conducted at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Patients were ≥18 years of age, with HF defined according to the Framingham criteria. The primary outcome was anaemia and the secondary outcome was a composite of hospitalisation for HF or all-cause mortality.


A total of 401 HF patients (median age 56 years, IQR 41–67 years; women 51%) were included. The prevalence of anaemia was 57%. The overall prevalence of ID was 49% distributed as 69% versus 21% in subjects with and without anaemia (p<0.001). Normocytic anaemia was seen in 18% of the patients while none had macrocytic anaemia. The risk of having anaemia was positively associated with residency outside Dar es Salaam (OR 1.72 (95% CI 1.02 to 2.89); p=0.038), atrial fibrillation (4.12 (1.60 to 10.61); p=0.003), LVEF <45% (2.70 (1.57 to 4.67); p<0.001) and negatively (ORs per unit decrease) with creatinine clearance (0.98 (0.97 to 0.99); p=0.012) and total cholesterol (0.78 (0.63 to 0.98); p=0.029). One-year survival free from a composite endpoint was 70%. The presence of ID anaemia increased the likelihood for an event (HR 2.67; 95% CI 1.39 to 5.07; p=0.003), while anaemia without ID did not influence the risk.


ID anaemia was common in Tanzanian patients with HF and was independently associated with the risk for hospitalisation or death.

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