Patients with severe non-inflammatory respiratory disease face anemia risk

Mar 31, 2011

A study of nearly 600 patients with severe non-inflammatory respiratory disease has found that a significant percentage also suffered from anaemia, according to the April issue of IJCP, the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

"The links between and anaemia are already well known, but our study also shows that anaemia is frequently found in patients with severe non-inflammatory respiratory diseases" says lead author Dr Florian Kollert from the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Centre, Freiburg, Germany.

Patients with chronic respiratory failure who had been discharged from the hospital to receive home mechanical ventilation over a 15-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Just over half of the patients (55 per cent) had obstructive disease and the rest had restrictive disease.

The research team discovered that 13 per cent of the patients had anaemia, with statistically similar levels in the restrictive disease group (approximately 12 per cent) and obstructive disease group (approximately 15 per cent).

Other key findings included:

  • Overall, patients were more likely to have anaemia if they were older, had a number of other health problems and poor nutrition. The authors suggest that this indicates anaemia could be caused by multiple factors in these patients.
  • Men with obstructive disease were more than twice as likely to have anaemia as women with the same condition (18 per cent versus eight per cent).
  • Anaemic patients with obstructive disease tended to be approximately five years older than those without anaemia and have higher rates of coronary , cardiac arrhythmia and diabetes mellitus. They also tended to have a lower and lower total protein levels than patients without anaemia.
  • Patients with restrictive disease and anaemia tended to be older and have a lower white blood cell count.
"Our study systematically examined the prevalence of anaemia in a large cohort of patients with chronic respiratory failure and different types of underlying respiratory disorders" says Dr Kollert.

"The results indicate that anaemia is a regular phenomenon in severe respiratory disorder, not just as a result of systemic inflammation.

"We believe our findings underline the importance of clinicians being aware of the high prevalence of anaemia in respiratory disease and the need to regularly check potential nutritional deficiencies in these patients. Further research is needed to determine whether treatment for will prove beneficial in respiratory disease."

Explore further: Sierra Leone marks grim Ebola anniversary

More information: Anaemia in chronic respiratory failure. Kollert et al. IJCP, The International Journal of Clinical Practice. 65.4, pp 479-486. (April 2011). DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2011.02631.x

Related Stories

Flu vaccines can reduce respiratory problems by up to 3/4

Apr 15, 2008

Annual flu vaccinations are highly effective at preventing acute respiratory illness and making sure that existing breathing problems don’t get any worse, according to research published in the April issue of IJCP, the ...

Healthy gums may lead to healthy lungs

Jan 18, 2011

Maintaining periodontal health may contribute to a healthy respiratory system, according to research published in the Journal of Periodontology. A new study suggests that periodontal disease may increase the risk for respir ...

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone marks grim Ebola anniversary

44 minutes ago

On May 24 last year a pregnant woman and an older housewife staggered into Kenema hospital in eastern Sierra Leone and were diagnosed within a day as the country's first Ebola cases.

MSF fighting cholera outbreak in Tanzania refugee camps

19 hours ago

Medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) said Sunday it had launched emergency treatment centres in Tanzania, where thousands of Burundians fleeing unrest have been hit by cholera.

Bacteria blamed in indigenous Mexican baby deaths

May 23, 2015

Bacteria—and not a contaminated vaccine as initially suspected—were to blame for the recent deaths of two Mexican babies and for sickening 29 others, according to an official investigation.

Explainer: What is Chagas disease?

May 22, 2015

According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in a Los Angeles clinic treating patients with heart failure, about 20% of Latin American patients have Chagas disease. What is that?, y ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.