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Heart failure worsens with anemia, increases risk of death (press release)

Friday, August 26, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: heart health, health news, Natural News

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Low hemoglobin levels are a predictor of increased risk of death and complications among heart failure patients, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Hemoglobin (Hgb) is the major substance in red blood cells, and its level indicates the blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. Studies have shown that low hemoglobin, which may result in anemia, is more common among patients with heart failure than it is among people in the general population. As many as 25 percent to 60 percent of heart failure patients have anemia, defined as hemoglobin less than 12 grams/deciliter in women and 13g/dL in men. "Studies have shown that if you have anemia and heart failure, your risk of death and complications are increased appreciably -- with as much as 30 percent to 60 percent additional risk of death and hospitalization from heart failure," said Inder S. Anand, M.D., FRCP, D. Phil. (Oxon.), the study's lead author, and professor of medicine at University of Minnesota Medical School and director of the Heart Failure Program, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minn.

To study the association between anemia and mortality risk, the researchers used a database on 5,002 patients enrolled in the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial, a study evaluating the high blood pressure drug valsartan.

At the beginning of the study, researchers took a complete blood cell count, and repeated these measurements at regular intervals up to 24 months. Of the patients enrolled in the heart failure study, 23 percent were anemic. Anemic patients tended to be older, have diabetes and to have worse heart failure.

The researchers found that the quartile of patients with the largest average decreases in Hgb over 12 months (defined as an average decrease of 1.6 g/dL, from 14.2 to 12.6 g/dL) experienced 47 percent more hospitalizations and 60 percent more deaths, compared to those in the quartile that exhibited an insignificant (0.10 g/dL) change in hemoglobin during 12 months.

The researchers report that an increase in Hgb was associated with a 22 percent lower death rate in patients with anemia, compared to 21 percent without anemia, at the start of the study.

Patients who had anemia at the start of the study or whose Hgb decreased during the study had worse heart failure and an associated elevation of several other risk factors for heart disease, including neurohormones and C-reactive protein.

"If you are a heart failure patient and your hemoglobin drops, then you are at a greater risk of having problems. What remains unclear, however, is the ideal level of hemoglobin to be achieved in patients with heart failure," he said.

Researchers said one of the causes of anemia may be related to iron deficiency in heart failure patients because of malabsorption, nutritional deficiencies and impaired metabolism. Hemodilution (excess fluid retention) may also contribute to anemia in heart failure patients.

Researchers don't know if anemia worsens heart failure or if it is a marker of heart failure severity, or what effect raising hemoglobin will have on the heart's function.

"It is important to pursue hemoglobin's role in the risk of death and complications in heart failure patients," Anand said.

"The lifetime risk for developing heart failure for men and women at age 40 is one in five. If 30 percent to 60 percent of these people are at higher risk for death and complications because of low hemoglobin, we might have an opportunity to treat these patients," he said. "Treatment for anemia is relatively simple, with iron supplements, multivitamins or drugs. However, we do not yet know if treatment is the best strategy and what the goals of treatment should be."

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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