Anemia Increases Mortality Risk After Heart Attack

Risk particularly high in those with multivessel disease and incomplete revascularization
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Anemia increases the risk of death in patients who have had a heart attack and coronary angioplasty, particularly in those with multivessel disease and incomplete revascularization, according to a study in the March 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Tomasz Kurek, M.D., and colleagues from the Medical University of Silesia in Zabrze, Poland, examined the effect of anemia on outcomes in 1,497 patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) treated with percutaneous coronary intervention. Of these, 16.6 percent had anemia, defined as hemoglobin <13 g/dL for men and <12 g/dL for women.

The researchers found that patients with anemia had significantly higher mortality rates at 30 days (13.2 versus 7.3 percent), one year (20.5 versus 11.3 percent), and overall (24.1 versus 12.7 percent). After adjusting for various factors, anemia predicted death from any cause (covariate-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.46). Long-term mortality was significantly higher in anemic patients with multivessel disease (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.54) and in anemic patients with incomplete revascularization (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.67).

"In conclusion, anemia on admission in patients with AMI treated in the acute phase with percutaneous coronary intervention was independently associated with increasing short- and long-term mortality, especially in the subgroups with incomplete revascularization and multivessel disease," Kurek and colleagues write.

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