Up to 50% of people with heart failure in Ireland may be at risk of being iron deficient1,2
Iron deficiency can worsen heart failure symptoms2 and result in longer hospital stays3
- More than 90,000 people in Ireland currently live with heart failure and this number is growing by 10,000 each year4
- 160,000 people in Ireland are living with impending heart failure4
- Up to one in two people living with heart failure is at risk of being iron deficient1
- People living with heart failure and iron deficiency experience longer hospital stays than those without3
- Iron deficiency can cause symptoms like physical fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness which are similar to the symptoms of heart failure5-8
90,000 people in Ireland are living with heart failure and a further 160,000 are living with impending heart failure .4 Up to one in two people living with heart failure is at risk of iron deficiency1, which negatively impacts quality of life, exercise capacity and mortality.2 Symptoms of iron deficiency can include physical fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness and these symptoms are similar to those of heart failure.5-8
A National collaborative clinical audit of Heart Failure in Irish Hospitals was presented at the European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Association congress (ESC HFA) in 2019. This audit found that among 474 heart failure patients in Irish hospitals, 57% were diagnosed with iron deficiency and experienced a longer length of stay in hospital (8.1 days) compared to those who were not iron deficient (5.9 days).3
People living with heart failure are encouraged to ask their GP, Heart Failure Nurse or Cardiologist to check their iron levels.
Dr. Pat O’Callaghan, Consultant Cardiologist at University Hospital Waterford, said:
“Iron deficiency in heart failure is complex. It can occur due to several factors including reduced dietary intake, reduced gastrointestinal absorption, increased iron loss from gastritis and duodenitis, and additionally blood sampling. It’s also important to note that iron deficiency in heart failure exists in anaemic and non-anaemic patients.
“The condition is closely linked with a decreased quality of life, and it’s important for healthcare professionals and patients to understand that checking iron stores early can help to improve quality of life for patients. This is a common condition, more common than we realise, and because it is not widely diagnosed, people living with heart failure are not enjoying the quality of life they deserve.”
Neil Johnson, CEO of heart and stroke charity Croí, said:
“A key part of our work involves supporting patients across communities living with heart disease. Educating patients about their condition is imperative to the work we do at Croí. For people living with heart failure, it is important to empower them with the knowledge that getting their iron levels tested regularly can help to improve their quality of life.”
World Iron Deficiency Day is proudly supported by Vifor Pharma.
For more information please visit: www.checkyouriron.ie
- Klip IT et al. American Heart Journal. 2013; 165(4): 575-582 e3
- Cohen-Solal A et al. Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases. 2014; 107(10):563-571
- N Caples et al. FE- IRON (First Ever Irish heart failure nurses group Review On implementation of ESC iroN guideline in Ireland), 2019.
- Prof. Kenneth McDonald & Dr. Joe Gallagher. The Cost of Heart Failure in Ireland, November 2015
- Ponikowski P et al. European Heart Journal 2016 Jul 14: 37(27): 2129-2200
- Auerbach M, Adamson J. Am J Hematol. 2016 Jan; 91(1): 31-8
- Koduru P et al. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2016 Jan; 9(1): 76-85
- Di Angelantonio E et al. Lancet 2017; 390: 2360-71