A study of nearly 600 patients with severe non-inflammatory respiratory disease has found that a significant percentage also suffered from anemia, according to the April issue of IJCP, the International Journal of Clinical Practice.
"The links between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and anemia are already well known, but our study also shows that anemia 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 anemia, 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:
"Our study systematically examined the prevalence of anemia in a large cohort of patients with chronic respiratory failure and different types of underlying respiratory disorders" says Dr Kollert.
"The results indicate that anemia 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 anemia in respiratory disease and the need to regularly check potential nutritional deficiencies in these patients. Further research is needed to determine whether treatment for anemia will prove beneficial in respiratory disease."
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