Background and aims: Although the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitors (ACE-I) is a cornerstone of treatment for heart failure (HF), these agents have been associated with decreasing hemoglobin levels in several settings. The aim of this study was to assess whether ACE-I are associated with decreasing hemoglobin in older subjects, and whether this effect is enhanced among patients with HF. Methods: The association between starting use of ACE-I and variations in hemoglobin levels was investigated in 10,354 hospitalized elderly, 1217 of whom had a verified diagnosis of HF, enrolled in a multicenter pharmacoepidemiology survey. Results: According to Cox regression analysis, the relative risk of a decrease in hemoglobin levels >0.5 g/dL associated with starting treatment with ACE-I was 1.12 (95% CI 0.98-1.26, p=0.081) among participants without HF, and 1.98 (95% CI 1.54-2.53, p>0.0001) among patients with HF, after adjusting for potential confounders. Analysis of the interaction term in Cox regression confirmed that the association between use of ACE-I and hemoglobin decrease varied according to diagnosis of HF (p=0.003) and older age (p=0.029). Conclusions: Starting treatment with ACE-I is independently associated with increased risk of hemoglobin decrease among older hospitalized patients with HF. Hemoglobin levels should be monitored in older subjects who start ACE-I. ©2012, Editrice Kurtis.
- Heart failure