Date Published: 
Monday, 27 October, 2014

Iron deficiency in patients with heart failure

Professor Iain Macdougall

Cohen-Solal and colleagues have recently published an expert position paper from French cardiologists on the diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency in patients with heart failure. This adds to the increasing literature, including clinical practice guidelines, and opinions expressed by cardiologists, on the possible benefits of correcting iron deficiency in heart failure, following on from Australian and European guidelines1,2.

At the beginning of the paper, the authors comment on the beneficial effects of intravenous iron in a number of small clinical trials, including those conducted by Okonko and colleagues (FERRIC-HF)3 and Toblli and colleagues4. These have been followed by results from the double-blind placebo-controlled FAIR-HF study5.

However, the position statement was written prior to the reporting (at the European Society of Cardiology conference) and publication (in the European Heart Journal) of the results of the CONFIRM-HF study at the end of August 20146. Not only did this latest study confirm the previous results of FAIR-HF, but there was also convincing evidence of a reduction in hospitalisations for heart failure in the group of patients receiving intravenous iron compared with those receiving placebo.

Even without the data from CONFIRM-HF6, this position paper from the French cardiologists highlights the importance of detecting and treating iron deficiency in patients with heart failure. Furthermore, if the results of the CONFIRM-HF study had been available to the authors at the time of writing, these messages may have been even stronger.        

The full article is available online ahead of print in Archive of Cardiovascular Diseases. For further information on iron deficiency in cardiology, please click here.