Anaemia has been demonstrated as a risk factor in patients with heart failure over periods of a few years, but long term data are not available. We examined the long-term risk of anaemia in heart failure patients during 15 years of follow-up.


We evaluated survival data for 1518 patients with heart failure randomized into the Danish Investigations of Arrhythmia and Mortality on Dofetilide (DIAMOND) trial. The follow-up time was from 13 to 15 years. After 15 years 11.5% of the patients were still alive.


Anaemia was present in 34% of the patients. 264 (17%) had mild, 152 (10%) had moderate and 98 (7%) had severe anaemia. Hazard ratio of death for patients with mild anaemia compared with patients with no anaemia was 1.27 (1.11-1.45, p<0.001), for moderate anaemia 1.48 (1.24-1.77, p<0.001) and for severe anaemia 1.82 (1.47-2.24, p<0.001), respectively. In multivariable analyses anaemia was still associated with increased mortality with hazard ratios of 1.19 (1.04–1.37, p=0.014) for mild anaemia, 1.23 (1.03–1.48, p=0.024) for moderate anaemia and 1.33 (1.07–1.66, p=0.010) for severe anaemia, respectively. In landmark analysis the increased mortality for mild anaemia was only significant during the first 2 years, while moderate anaemia remained significant for at least 5 years. There were too few patients left with severe anaemia after 5 years to evaluate the importance on mortality beyond this time.


Anaemia at the time of diagnosis of heart failure is an independent factor for mortality during the following years but loses its influence on mortality over time.

Keywords: Anaemia, heart failure, mortality. .
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