4 ways anemia can impact the heart, cause heart failure | Hindustan Times
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4 ways anemia can impact the heart, cause heart failure

Published on Apr 22, 2024 07:00 AM IST

In rare cases, chronic anemia, if left untreated, can lead to the enlargement of the heart muscle, weaken them and increase the risk of heart failure.

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Anemia is a condition characterised by a deficiency in the number of red blood cells or a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin in the blood. In an interview with Zarafshan Shiraz of HT Lifestyle, Dr Abhijit Borse, Interventional Cardiologist at Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, revealed that since the heart is responsible for the pumping and distribution of this blood, anemia can impact the heart in the following ways -(File Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 22, 2024 07:00 AM IST

Anemia is a condition characterised by a deficiency in the number of red blood cells or a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin in the blood. In an interview with Zarafshan Shiraz of HT Lifestyle, Dr Abhijit Borse, Interventional Cardiologist at Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, revealed that since the heart is responsible for the pumping and distribution of this blood, anemia can impact the heart in the following ways -(File Photo)

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1. Decreased Oxygen Delivery: Hemoglobin in red blood cells is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to various tissues and organs in the body, including the heart. When the hemoglobin levels are low due to anemia, less oxygen is delivered to the heart muscle. This can lead to a condition called myocardial ischemia, where the heart muscle doesn't receive enough oxygen to function optimally.(Photo by Shutterstock) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 22, 2024 07:00 AM IST

1. Decreased Oxygen Delivery: Hemoglobin in red blood cells is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to various tissues and organs in the body, including the heart. When the hemoglobin levels are low due to anemia, less oxygen is delivered to the heart muscle. This can lead to a condition called myocardial ischemia, where the heart muscle doesn't receive enough oxygen to function optimally.(Photo by Shutterstock)

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2. Increased Heart Rate: In response to decreased oxygen delivery, the heart may compensate by increasing its rate (tachycardia) to pump more blood and oxygen to meet the body's needs. This increased workload on the heart can lead to strain and potentially contribute to conditions like palpitations, chest pain, or even heart failure over time.(Photo by Twitter/PsychiatristCNS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 22, 2024 07:00 AM IST

2. Increased Heart Rate: In response to decreased oxygen delivery, the heart may compensate by increasing its rate (tachycardia) to pump more blood and oxygen to meet the body's needs. This increased workload on the heart can lead to strain and potentially contribute to conditions like palpitations, chest pain, or even heart failure over time.(Photo by Twitter/PsychiatristCNS)

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3. Arrhythmias: Anemia can predispose individuals to abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). The imbalance in electrolytes caused by anemia, as well as the increased workload on the heart, can disrupt the normal electrical activity of the heart, leading to arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular arrhythmias.(Photo by Freepik) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 22, 2024 07:00 AM IST

3. Arrhythmias: Anemia can predispose individuals to abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). The imbalance in electrolytes caused by anemia, as well as the increased workload on the heart, can disrupt the normal electrical activity of the heart, leading to arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular arrhythmias.(Photo by Freepik)

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4. Cardiac Output Changes: Anemia can also affect cardiac output, which is the volume of blood pumped by the heart per minute. Initially, the heart may try to increase cardiac output to compensate for decreased oxygen-carrying capacity. However, if the anemia is severe or chronic, the heart may become less efficient over time, leading to decreased cardiac output and symptoms of fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.(Photo by Shutterstock) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 22, 2024 07:00 AM IST

4. Cardiac Output Changes: Anemia can also affect cardiac output, which is the volume of blood pumped by the heart per minute. Initially, the heart may try to increase cardiac output to compensate for decreased oxygen-carrying capacity. However, if the anemia is severe or chronic, the heart may become less efficient over time, leading to decreased cardiac output and symptoms of fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.(Photo by Shutterstock)

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Dr Abhijit Borse concluded, “In rare cases, chronic anemia, if left untreated, can lead to the enlargement of the heart muscle (cardiomegaly) as the heart works harder to compensate for the decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This enlargement can weaken the heart muscle and increase the risk of heart failure. Anemia is also known to worsen symptoms and outcomes in individuals with pre-existing heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, or valvular heart disease. The decreased oxygen delivery to the heart can exacerbate ischemia, increase the workload on the heart, and worsen symptoms associated with these conditions. It's crucial to identify and manage anemia promptly to prevent adverse effects on cardiac function and overall health.”(File Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 22, 2024 07:00 AM IST

Dr Abhijit Borse concluded, “In rare cases, chronic anemia, if left untreated, can lead to the enlargement of the heart muscle (cardiomegaly) as the heart works harder to compensate for the decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This enlargement can weaken the heart muscle and increase the risk of heart failure. Anemia is also known to worsen symptoms and outcomes in individuals with pre-existing heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, or valvular heart disease. The decreased oxygen delivery to the heart can exacerbate ischemia, increase the workload on the heart, and worsen symptoms associated with these conditions. It's crucial to identify and manage anemia promptly to prevent adverse effects on cardiac function and overall health.”(File Photo)

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