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Treatment of Anemia in Patients with Heart Disease: A Systematic Review

Kansagara D, Dyer E, Englander H, Freeman M, Kagen D. Treatment of Anemia in Patients with Heart Disease: A Systematic Review. 1 ed. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US); 2011. 1-82 p.


Anemia is very common in congestive heart failure (CHF) and coronary heart disease (CHD) patients. Anemia in CHF and CHD patients is associated with poorer outcomes, including an increased risk of hospitalization, decreased exercise capacity, and poor quality of life. Despite the association with poorer outcomes, it is unclear whether treating anemia or iron deficiency will improve outcomes. Anemia treatment strategies in heart failure and CHD patients include erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and red blood cell transfusions. Iron replacement in iron deficient patients with or without anemia has also been investigated. The objective of this evidence review is to evaluate the balance of benefit and harms of these treatments.

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