Studies Explore Use of Iron Supplements in Treating HF Patients

Two separate Late-Breaking Clinical Trials presented Nov. 16 during AHA 2016 explored the usefulness of iron supplements in improving quality of life for heart failure (HF) patients.

In the IRONOUT HF Trial, researchers evaluated whether oral iron polysaccharide (300 mg/day) could improve exercise capacity in 225 HF patients, compared to placebo. The primary endpoint was a change in peak oxygen uptake (pkVO2) measured at baseline and at 16 weeks. Secondary endpoints included assessments of the impact of oral iron on submaximal exercise capacity; plasma NT-pro BNP levels; and health status.

Results showed that a change in pkVO2 did not differ between the group taking oral iron supplements and the group taking placebo. Additionally, researchers noted that high-dose oral iron supplements minimally repleted iron stores and did not improve exercise capacity in HF patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).

"These results do not support use of oral iron supplementation in patients with HFrEF" concluded Gregory D. Lewis, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, who presented the findings.

Meanwhile, in the EFFECT-HF Trial, researchers evaluated the efficacy of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) compared to usual care on exercise capacity in a 24-week study of 174 stable HF patients in nine countries.

Researchers noted that the study met its primary endpoint, finding a significant difference of change in pkVO2 consumption from baseline to week 24 for those in the treatment group. They added that patients with chronic HF and iron deficiency treated with FCM can stabilize exercise capacity compared to those with standard of care whose exercise capacity worsened.

"These findings confirm and extend the results of previous studies (FAIR-HF1 and CONFIRM-HF2) that treatment with FCM improves exercise capacity and symptoms," they conclude.

Keywords: AHA16, American Heart Association, AHA Annual Scientific Sessions, Anemia, Iron-Deficiency, Dietary Supplements, Heart Failure, Iron, Oxygen, Ferric Compounds, Iron Metabolism Disorders, Maltose, Prospective Studies

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