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Considerable effort has been made in recent years to optimize materials properties for magnetic hyperthermia applications. However, due to the complexity of the problem, several aspects pertaining to the combined influence of the different parameters involved still remain unclear. In this paper, we discuss in detail the role of the magnetic anisotropy on the specific absorption rate of cobalt-ferrite nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 3 to 14 nm. The structural characterization was carried out using x-ray diffraction and Rietveld analysis and all relevant magnetic parameters were extracted from vibrating sample magnetometry. Hyperthermia investigations were performed at 500 kHz with a sinusoidal magnetic field amplitude of up to 68 Oe. The specific absorption rate was investigated as a function of the coercive field, saturation magnetization, particle size, and magnetic anisotropy. The experimental results were also compared with theoretical predictions from the linear response theory and dynamic hysteresis simulations, where exceptional agreement was found in both cases. Our results show that the specific absorption rate has a narrow and pronounced maxima for intermediate anisotropy values. This not only highlights the importance of this parameter but also shows that in order to obtain optimum efficiency in hyperthermia applications, it is necessary to carefully tailor the materials properties during the synthesis process.