Iron deficiency in community-dwelling individuals older than 65 years is associated with an increased risk for heart failure, according to data presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2022 conference in Orlando, Florida.

The data are from a study of 980 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study, of whom 41% had chronic kidney disease (CKD). Shilpa Sharma, MD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues categorized individuals based on quartiles of transferrin saturation and ferritin as iron replete (13.9% of participants; these made up the reference group); functional iron deficiency (7.7%), iron deficiency (11.6%); mixed iron deficiency (iron deficiencies between the iron deficiency and functional iron deficiency groups; 5.6%), high iron (9.7%), and non-classified (51.3%).

Compared with iron replete participants, those with iron deficiency had a significant  1.5-fold increased risk for incident heart failure after adjusting for numerous variables, Dr Sharma and colleagues reported in a poster presentation. None of the other iron categories were significantly associated with heart failure.

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The association between iron deficiency and heart failure persisted regardless of CKD status.

“Our finding support conduct of clinical trials of iron replacement for prevention of [heart failure] in older adults with iron deficiency,” the authors concluded in a study abstract.


Sharma S, Katz R, Hoofnagle AN, et al. Iron deficiency and incident heart failure in community dwelling individuals. Presented at: Kidney Week 2022; November 3-6, Orlando, Florida. Abstract TH-PO678.