STOCKHOLM, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- A recent research shows that there is a linkage between iron deficiency and the natural course of chronic heart failure (CHF) syndrome, according to a presentation at the ongoing European Society of Cardiology Congress 2010 in Stockholm on Sunday.
"Iron deficiency seems to be associated with exercise intolerance and leads to a reduced quality of life. Our research shows that it probably constitutes an ominous sign of a poor outcome, independently of the other well-established prognosticators," said Dr. Piotr Ponikowski who led the research at the Military Hospital, Medical University of Wroclaw in Poland.
"In light of its high prevalence and clinical consequences, iron deficiency may well be perceived as an attractive therapeutic target in CHF," Ponilowski said.
Several earlier reports have already shown that, in iron deficient CHF patients, iron repletion can safely improve functional capacity, exercise tolerance and quality of life.
"Cardiologists should become more aware of the importance of iron deficiency in CHF patients, and be able to evaluate iron status using a combination of simple, clinically relevant parameters of iron metabolism," he said.
He added that more studies are needed to evaluate whether correction of iron deficiency in CHF would translate into clinical benefits.
Iron deficiency is a relatively common nutritional disorder that affects more than one third of the general population, and is often associated with chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid diseases and renal failure.
The interest in the linkage between iron deficiency and the natural course of chronic heart failure (CHF) syndrome is quite recent.