Drawing Too Much Blood for Diagnostics Increases Anemia Risks for AMI Patients, University of Missouri Study

Patients who enter hospitals due to heart attacks may be leaving with anemia caused by laboratory tests that draw too much blood, raising their risk of declining health and death, a study found. In an analysis of almost 18,000 patients in 57 U.S. hospitals from 2000 to 2008, researchers found that 20 percent of patients who didn’t have anemia when admitted for heart attacks developed moderate to severe cases of the red blood-cell deficiency by the time they left. The study is published today in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. Anemia is associated with greater death rates and worse health in patients who have already suffered heart attacks, the study said. Patients who developed anemia left the hospital suffering from fatigue, shortness of breath and physical weakness. Doctors may need to change some of their practices, said Mikhail Kosiborod, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the study’s senior author.

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