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In BMC emergency medicine

BACKGROUND : Anaemia is highly prevalent in critically ill patients; however, the long-term effect on mortality remains unclear.

METHODS : We retrospectively included patients admitted to the medical intensive care units (ICUs) during 2015-2020 at the Taichung Veterans General Hospital. The primary outcome of interest was one-year mortality, and hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were determined to assess the association. We used propensity score matching (PSM) and propensity score matching methods, including inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) as well as covariate balancing propensity score (CBPS), in the present study.

RESULTS : A total of 7,089 patients were eligible for analyses, and 45.0% (3,189/7,089) of them had anaemia, defined by mean levels of haemoglobin being less than 10 g/dL. The standardised difference of covariates in this study were lower than 0.20 after matching and weighting. The application of CBPS further reduced the imbalance among covariates. We demonstrated a similar association, and adjusted HRs in original, PSM, IPTW and CBPS populations were 1.345 (95% CI 1.227-1.474), 1.265 (95% CI 1.145-1.397), 1.276 (95% CI 1.142-1.427) and 1.260 (95% CI 1.125-1.411), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS : We used propensity score-based analyses to identify that anaemia within the first week was associated with increased one-year mortality in critically ill patients.

Lin I-Hung, Liao Pei-Ya, Wong Li-Ting, Chan Ming-Cheng, Wu Chieh-Liang, Chao Wen-Cheng


Anaemia, Critical illness, Long-term outcome, Propensity score