Study suggests iron infusion could reduce hospital admissions for heart failure | Tech US News

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Receiving an iron infusion every one to two years could help people with heart failure avoid hospital admissions, new research suggests.

Almost a million people in the UK are living with heart failure, where the heart cannot pump blood around the body as well as it should, and they can face long stays in hospital if their symptoms worsen.

Up to half of those with heart failure also have low iron levels, which is linked to worse symptoms, lower quality of life and a higher risk of hospitalization and death, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) said.

In the BHF-funded study, 1,137 people with heart failure and low iron received intravenous iron infusions or usual care.



We should now recommend that people with heart failure have regular assessment of iron status and treatment if iron deficiency is identified.

Professor Paul Kalra

The researchers found that iron infusions reduced the risk of hospitalization for heart failure and death from a heart-related cause by 18% compared with usual care.

People who received iron infusions also reported better quality of life after four months.

Professor Paul Kalra, Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow and Consultant Cardiologist at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, led the Ironman study.

He said: “The Ironman trial shows for the first time the long-term benefits and safety of intravenous iron therapy in heart failure, adding to the evidence of its beneficial effects.

“We should now be recommending that people with heart failure have regular assessment of iron status and treatment if iron deficiency is identified. Now is the time to update national clinical guidelines.

“Despite huge advances in treatment and care in recent decades, many people with heart failure still have symptoms that affect their daily lives, and the rate of hospital admissions remains high.

“We’ve shown that just one 60-minute treatment, repeated as needed, can be enough for most people with heart failure to increase their iron levels, improve their well-being and keep them out of hospital.

“Treatment with intravenous iron can really make a difference in patients, and that’s in addition to our other treatments.”

The BHF said around one in 10 people in the UK will die during hospital admission from heart failure.

In the study, which looked at data from August 2016 to October 2021, participants visited the hospital every four months to have their iron levels measured, and people in the iron group received an IV infusion if their level is low.

People in the study, which is published in The Lancet, were followed for an average of 2.7 years.

Most (78%) of the iron group received only one or two intravenous iron infusions during this time.

The trial was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting people’s ability and willingness to visit hospitals, which meant some patients may not have received an iron infusion.

For this reason, the researchers also looked at data from 1,063 people who were part of the trial before March 31, 2020, and whose treatment would not have been as affected by the pandemic.

This analysis showed a greater benefit of iron infusions compared with usual care, with the risk of hospitalization for heart failure and death from a heart-related cause being 24% lower in the iron group compared with usual care.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the BHF, said: “Heart failure is a debilitating condition that often requires repeated and prolonged hospitalisations.

“At a time when the NHS is under more pressure than ever, this simple and inexpensive treatment not only helps heart failure patients feel better, but by reducing the need for hospital admission, it can free up extra time and beds to help deal with the growing backlogs. take care of the heart.”

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