Relation Between Hemoglobin Level and Recurrent Myocardial Ischemia in Acute Coronary Syndromes Detected by Continuous Electrocardiographic Monitoring
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Anemia has been associated with adverse outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). However, the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms have not been well elucidated. We sought to determine the independent relation between the hemoglobin level and recurrent ischemia in patients with non-ST-segment elevation ACS using continuous electrocardiographic monitoring. In the Integrilin and Enoxaparin Randomized Assessment of Acute Coronary Syndrome Treatment (INTERACT) trial, 746 patients presenting with non-ST-segment elevation ACS underwent continuous ST-segment monitoring for 48 hours. The data were analyzed independently at a core laboratory. We stratified the study population according to their hemoglobin level on presentation. The primary outcome of the study was recurrent ischemia, defined as ST-segment shifts on continuous electrocardiographic monitoring. Of the 705 patients with analyzable data, 64 had a baseline hemoglobin level <120 g/L, 259 had a level of 120 to 139 g/L, 315 had a level of 140 to 159 g/L, and 67 had a level >160 g/L. The corresponding rates of recurrent ischemia were 39.1%, 22.0%, 15.6%, and 11.9% (p for trend <0.001). A lower hemoglobin level was associated with advanced age, co-morbidities, and a higher GRACE risk score. In multivariable analysis adjusting for these confounders, lower hemoglobin levels retained a significant independent association with recurrent ischemia (p for trend = 0.004). In conclusion, a lower hemoglobin level at presentation was independently associated with recurrent ischemia detected by continuous electrocardiographic monitoring in the setting of non-ST-segment elevation ACS. This suggests that anemia might predispose patients to recurrent ischemia, which could be an important underlying mediator of worse outcomes in patients with lower hemoglobin levels.
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