Design and methods: Haemoglobin levels were prospectively measured in 448 consecutive patients presenting with ACS and at 7-weeks follow-up. Cardiovascular endpoints were defined as death or acute myocardial infarction (AMI) over a median duration of 30 months (range 1-50).
Results: The prevalence of anaemia on admission was 20% and this increased to 40% at 7-weeks follow-up. New anaemia occurred in 31% of patients. Baseline anaemia predicted CV endpoints independent of the admission GRACE (Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events) score [adjusted RR 2.54 (95% CI 1.73-3.71)]. Anaemia at 7-weeks follow-up was also a strong predictor of adverse outcomes [adjusted RR 1.67 (95% CI 1.04-2.69)]. Patients with persistent anaemia at 7 weeks were at an increased risk of death or AMI compared to those with persistently normal haemoglobin [unadjusted RR 3.58 (95% CI 2.04-6.29)].
Conclusion: In ACS, the prevalence of anaemia doubles from admission to 7-weeks follow-up (40%). Not only did baseline anaemia predict long-term prognosis independent of the admission GRACE score, but haemoglobin at 7-weeks post-ACS was also a simple independent predictor of adverse prognosis.