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Frank iron deficiency has been associated with a wide range of cardiac and pulmonary abnormalities including non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy. Iron deficiency anaemia and isolated iron deficiency are well-defined adverse prognostic factors in non-ischaemic cardiac failure. Furthermore, iron-deficient patients in chronic heart failure with a serum ferritin of <100 μg/l or <300 μg/l with reduced transferrin saturation of <20%, who were given intravenous iron showed improved clinical outcomes. Iron deficiency with or without anaemia affects over a quarter of the world's population, but the impact of iron deficiency in heart failure and the effective management of iron deficiency in heart failure in Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) is not well described. Heart failure in African cohorts occurs at a younger age than in North America and Europe and is more likely to be due to hypertension. Recent studies suggest that iron deficiency anaemia, which is very common in heart failure patients in Africa, and iron deficiency are independently associated with a poor prognosis in heart failure. Preliminary data suggest that iron deficiency in patients with heart failure can be treated with oral iron, with significant beneficial effects on haematological and physiological variables. Cost may prohibit the use of intravenous iron on a large scale in LMICs and optimal regimes to treat iron deficiency in heart failure patients with oral iron therapy remain to be defined.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





896 - 904


heart failure, iron deficiency, non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy, Africa, Anemia, Iron-Deficiency, Comorbidity, Developing Countries, Heart Failure, Humans, Iron, Prognosis