Anemia reduces exercise capacity and negatively impacts quality of life in patients with COPD, according to study results.

Researchers at University of Verona in Italy conducted a retrospective analysis of 105 patients with COPD who attended the university’s outpatient clinic from January 2013 to December 2013. The researchers assessed the prevalence of anemia and the association of hemoglobin level with shortness of breath, exercise capacity and health-related quality of life among the cohort.

Anemia was present in 12.3% of the patients, and 6.7% had polycythemia. Patients with anemia had more severe COPD in terms of forced expiratory volume in 1 second and had greater mean Medical Research Council dyspnea scores, shorter mean 6-minute walking distance, and lower peak VO2 results than patients without anemia.