The emerging role of iron in heart failure and vascular calcification in CKD

Paola Ciceri, Mario Cozzolino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Iron deficiency is a frequent comorbidity of cardiovascular (CV) diseases and nearly 50% of patients with heart failure (HF) with or without anaemia have low levels of available iron. There is a strong association between anaemia and the increase in mortality and hospitalizations in patients with CV disease and HF. Moreover, anaemia and chronic kidney disease (CKD) often coexist in patients with HF, with anaemia increasing the risk of death in these subjects and with a further increased risk in CKD population. The evidence that the treatment of iron deficiency and the increase in haemoglobin are associated with a better prognosis in HF patients has elicited new interest in the utilization of iron in HF and CKD patients. One of the central players in CV disease is vascular calcification (VC), which has been recognized as a major independent risk factor for incident CV disease and overall mortality in chronic disease patients. In this review, we summarize the evidences generated by clinical trials aimed to study the effect of iron deficiency correction, the effect of iron-based phosphate binder in in vivo models of kidney failure and the effect of iron in in vitro models of VC, trying to give an overview of the present knowledge on iron effect and its mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-745
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Kidney Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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