Parameters influencing in-hospital mortality in patients hospitalized in intensive cardiac care unit: is there an influence of anemia and iron deficiency?


We investigated the incidence and prognostic value of anemia as well as of the iron status in non-selected patients admitted to an intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU). 392 patients (mean age 70 ± 13.8 years, 43 % women), 168 with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), 122 with acute decompensated heart failure, and 102 with other acute cardiac disorders were consecutively, prospectively assessed. The biomarkers of iron status—serum iron concentration (SIC), total iron binding capacity (TIBC), and transferrin saturation (TSAT) together with standard clinical, biochemical and echocardiographic variables—were analyzed. In-hospital mortality was 3.8 % (15 patients). The prevalences of anemia (according to WHO criteria), and iron deficiency (ID) were 64 and 63 %, respectively. The level of biomarkers of iron status, but not anemia, was lower in patients who died (p < 0.05). Anemia was less frequent in patients with ACS as compared to the remaining ICCU population (p = 0.019). The analysis by logistic regression indicated the highest risk of death for age [odds ratio (OD) 1.38, 95 % CI 1.27–1.55], SIC (OR 0.85, 95 % CI 0.78–0.94), TIBC (OR 0.95, 95 % CI 0.91–0.98), left ventricle ejection fraction (OR 0.85, 95 % CI 0.77–0.93), as well as hospitalization for non-ACS (OR 0.25, 95 % CI 0.14–0.46), (p < 0.05). The risk of death during hospitalization tended to increase with decreasing levels of TIBC (p = 0.49), as well as with the absence of ACS (p = 0.54). The incidence of anemia and ID in heterogeneous ICCU patients is high. Parameters of the iron status, but not anemia per se, independently influence in-hospital mortality. The prevalence of anemia is higher in non-ACS patients, and tends to worsen the prognosis.

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Grant supported by Medical University in Bialystok, Poland, No 123-53714L.

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Correspondence to Agnieszka M. Tycinska.

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Uscinska, E., Sobkowicz, B., Sawicki, R. et al. Parameters influencing in-hospital mortality in patients hospitalized in intensive cardiac care unit: is there an influence of anemia and iron deficiency?. Intern Emerg Med 10, 337–344 (2015) doi:10.1007/s11739-014-1170-8

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  • Anemia
  • Iron status
  • ICCU