Anemia and iron deficiency in patients with atrial fibrillation

Nicole Hanna-Rivero, Samuel J. Tu, Adrian D. Elliott, Bradley M. Pitman, Celine Gallagher, Dennis H. Lau, Prashanthan Sanders, Christopher X. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac tachyarrhythmia and has a rising global prevalence. Given the increasing burden of AF-related symptoms and complications, new approaches to management are required. Anemia and iron deficiency are common conditions in patients with AF. Furthermore, emerging evidence suggests that the presence of anemia may be associated with worse outcome in these patients. The role of anemia and iron deficiency has been extensively explored in other cardiovascular states, such as heart failure and ischemic heart disease. In particular, the role of iron repletion amongst patients with heart failure is now an established treatment modality. However, despite the strong bidirectional inter-relationship between AF and heart failure, the implications of anemia and iron-deficiency in AF have been scarcely studied. This area is of mechanistic and clinical relevance given the potential that treatment of these conditions may improve symptoms and prognosis in the increasing number of individuals with AF. In this review, we summarise the current published literature on anemia and iron deficiency in patients with AF. We discuss AF complications such as stroke, bleeding, and heart failure, in addition to AF-related symptoms such as exercise intolerance, and the potential impact of anemia and iron deficiency on these. Finally, we summarize current research gaps on anemia, iron deficiency, and AF, and underscore potential research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number204
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 4 May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anemia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Iron-deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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