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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Insufficient evidence exists to evaluate effects of blood transfusions and iron therapy for treatment of anaemia in patients with heart disease—erythropoietin agonists do not improve outcomes
  1. Rohan Samson,
  2. Thierry Le Jemtel
  1. Tulane Heart and Vascular Institute, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Thierry Le Jemtel, Tulane Heart and Vascular Institute, Tulane University School of Medicine 1430 Tulane Avenue, SL-48, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA; lejemtel{at}

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The prevalence of anaemia ranges from 20% to 40% in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and is nearly 50% in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Anaemia is an independent predictor of poor clinical outcomes in patients with heart disease.1 ,2 Targeting anaemia to improve clinical outcomes is therefore a logical inference, with recent interest being largely driven by trials evaluating erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESAs) and one trial of intravenous iron therapy in CHF. Although recently reported Reduction of Events with Darbepoetin Alfa in Heart Failure (RED-HF) trial demonstrated no benefit of darbepoetin in CHF,3 clinical equipoise exists with …

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  • Competing interests None.