Abstract

Anemia is associated with an increased number of adverse cardiovascular events (CVD) in particular with coronary artery disease (CAD), and chronic heart failure (CHF), and it is also correlated with gender, aging, renal insufficiency, low BMI. Anemia involves inflammatory cytokines (C-reactive protein, IL-6, MCP-1, TNF-alfa), it reduces marrow response to erythropoietin (EPO) and heme-oxygenases-1(HO-1), it also reduces red cells life span and it may impairs reuse of iron, it mostly reduces, the peak VO-2 (peak aerobic power). The latter appears to be an independent factor that may be associated with an adverse outcome, in fact, for a reduction of one gram of heamoglobin (Hb) the risk of morbility and mortality increase respectively by 32% and 18%. The aim of the study was to determine the clinical implication of anemia in patients with CHF or CAD; we have studied 48 patients (32 male, 16 female) with CHF, and 52 patients (34 male, 18 female) with CAD, with a range of Hb concentration included between 9.4gr/dl and 12.6gr/dl. We have evaluated moreover the tolerance to exercise on a treadmill and six minute walk distance (210+/− 32 m in CAD), (180+/− 28 m in HF), the presence of rest dyspnea, the presence of supraventricular or ventricular arrhythmias (atrial/or ventricular premature beats, sinus tachycardia, or ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation); lower levels of Hb, Fe, TIBC correlate with a greater tendency to develop ventricular arrhytmias instead of supraventricular arrhytmias. Anaemia management included erythropoietin stimulating protein, blood transfusion; we have used darbopoietin 50 mcg every week, and this treatment is associated to a significant improvement in functional class and cardiac and renal function. Epo has a strong cardioprotective effect: reducing left ventricular hypertrophy, infarct size, a higher beta natriuretic peptide level, apoptotic cell death, increase FE and capillary vessels; we have remarked a longer endurance time of exercise testing a greater distance walked (282+/− 64 m in CAD), (248+/− 32m in CHF), a significant increased in the peak oxygen consumption VO2 from 12.6+/− 2.4 to 16.2+/− 2.8 mL/Kg x min. in CAD, 9.8+/− 2.0 to 13.2 +/− 3.4 mL/Kg x min. in CHF. Our data also confirm the link between an increased tendency to develop CVD and a decreased level of Hb.

RISK FACTORSCADCHF
Sex (M/F) 32/16 34/18 
Age (Years) 62+/− 6 66+/− 4 
Hb (g/dl) 10.8+/− 1.8 10.6+/− 1.2 
MCV (fl) 82.6+/− 4.4 77+/− 4.2 
Iron (mg/dl) (Fe) 42.8+/− 10.2 36+/− 9.4 
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) 316+/− 68.8 280+/− 62.8 
RISK FACTORSCADCHF
Sex (M/F) 32/16 34/18 
Age (Years) 62+/− 6 66+/− 4 
Hb (g/dl) 10.8+/− 1.8 10.6+/− 1.2 
MCV (fl) 82.6+/− 4.4 77+/− 4.2 
Iron (mg/dl) (Fe) 42.8+/− 10.2 36+/− 9.4 
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) 316+/− 68.8 280+/− 62.8 

Author notes

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.