2011 Vol. 8, No. 1
Background Coronary heart disease (CHD) risk increases with age; yet lipid-lowering therapies are significantly under-utilized in patients > 65 years. The objective was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of lipid-lowering therapies in older patients treated with atorvastatin 10 mg + ezetimibe 10 mg (EZ/Atorva) vs. increasing the atorvastatin dose to 40 mg. Methods Patients ≥ 65 years with atherosclerotic vascular disease (LDL-C ≥ 1.81 mmol/L) or at high risk for coronary heart disease (LDL-C ≥ 2.59 mmol/L) were randomized to EZ/Atorva for 12 wk vs. uptitration to atorvastatin 20 mg for 6 wk followed by atorvastatin 40 mg for 6 wk. The percent change in LDL-C and other lipid parameters and percent patients achieving prespecified LDL-C levels were assessed after 12 wk. Results EZ/Atorva produced greater reductions in most lipid parameters vs. uptitration of atorvastatin in patients ≥ 75 years (n = 228), generally consistent with patients 65–74 years (n = 812). More patients achieved LDL-C targets with combination therapy vs. monotherapy in both age groups at 6 wk and in patients ≥ 75 years at 12 wk. At 12 wk, more patients ≥ 75 years achieved LDL-C targets with monotherapy vs. combination therapy. EZ/Atorva produced more favorable improvements in most lipids vs. doubling or quadrupling the atorvastatin dose in patients ≥ 75 years, generally consistent with the findings in patients 65–74 years. Conclusions Our results extended previous findings demonstrating that ezetimibe added to a statin provided a generally well-tolerated therapeutic option for improving the lipid profile in patients 65 to 74 years and ≥ 75 years of age.
Background Exacerbations of heart failure appear frequently associated with precipitating factors not directly related to the evolution of cardiac disease. There still a paucity of data on the proportional distribution of precipitating factors specifically in elderly patients. The aim of this study was to examine prospectively the precipitating factors leading to hospitalization in elderly patients with heart failure in our community hospital. Methods We evaluate elderly patients who need admissions for decompensate heart failure. All patients were reviewed daily by the study investigators at the first 24 h and closely followed-up. Decompensation was defined as the worsening in clinical NYHA class associated with the need for an increase in medical treatment (at minimum intravenously diuretics). Results We included 102 patients (mean age 79 ± 12 years). Precipitating factors were identified in 88.5%. The decompensation was sudden in 35% of the cases. Noncompliance with diet was identified in 52% of the patients, lack of adherence to the prescribed medications amounted to 30%. Others precipitating factors were infections (29%), arrhythmias (25%), acute coronary ischemia (22%), and uncontrolled hypertension (15%), miscellaneous causes were detected in 18% of the cases (progression of renal disease 60%, anemia 30% and iatrogenic factors 10%). Concomitant cause was not recognizable in 11.5%. Conclusions Large proportion heart failure hospitalizations are associated with preventable precipitating factors. Knowledge of potential precipitating factors may help to optimize treatment and provide guidance for patients with heart failure. The presence of potential precipitating factors should be routinely evaluated in patients presenting chronic heart failure.
Background Heart failure (HF) is an increasing problem for the aging population, specifically among women. The etiology of HF influences both the selection and outcome of the treatment. There are variations between genders in morbidity and mortality in different studies, possibly reflecting etiology. The objective of this study was to examine the strength of evidence available for gender differences in the etiology of chronic heart failure. Methods Computer-assisted searches from 1980?2009 for gender differences in the etiology of heart failure were performed (Medline, EMBASE and PubMed). From 2347 abstracts reviewed based on inclusion criteria, 35 original articles were chosen for review. Data extraction was based on observational studies (prospective/retrospective cohort or cross sectional) with a mean follow up of 3 months. There was no interrater variability between the 2 reviewers on data-extraction. Results Ventricular systolic dysfunction being more associated with male sex, but female sex was more reported to be associated with preserved left ventricular function. Ischemic etiology and associated coronary heart disease were strongly correlated with male sex. The risk for HF was dramatically more elevated for women with systolic hypertension but the association for diabetes mellitus as the etiology of HF was somewhat equal between males and females. Conclusions One of the limitations in reaching conclusions about gender differences in cardiovascular disease is that many major clinical trials do not include a gender analysis nor they are powered to do so as women are under-represented in most of the HF studies. The need remains for a well designed prospective study of sufficient numbers of male and female patients with and without heart failure and analyzing etiology and risk factors based on the sex differences.
Backgroud Numerous studies have confirmed the effectiveness of slowing the progression of atherosclerosis by blood pressure (Bp) control in patients with hypertension and several studies also showed the efficacy of intensive glycemic control in decreasing progression of carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, few studies have compared the relative importance of glycemic vs. Bp control in patients with diabetes and hypertension. We aimed to investigate the association between Bp and glycemic control and subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in older patients with hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Methods In a cross-sectional study, B-mode high-resolution ultrasonography of the carotid artery was performed in 670 subjects (508 males and 162 females) aged 60 years or over who had self-reported hypertension and diabetes but no history of coronary heart disease or stroke. Subjects were categorized by their systolic blood pressure: tight control, Results The mean CIMT was 8.20 ± 0.11 mm, and carotid plaque was found in 52.5% (352/670) subjects. Overall, 62.1% of the subjects had subclinical carotid atherosclerosis, defined as having either carotid plaque or elevated CIMT (≥ 1.1 mm). The mean CIMT was significantly different between Bp control categories (7.60 ± 0.09 mm, 7.90 ± 0.08 mm, and 8.60 ± 0.12 mm, respectively, P = 0.03) but not between glycemic control categories (8.20 ± 0.10 mm, 8.1 ± 0.08 mm, and 8.40 ± 0.14 mm, respectively, P = 0.13) using ANCOVA analysis. Multivariable logistic regression adjusting for potential confounding factors showed that usual or uncontrolled Bp control were associated with having carotid plaque (OR = 1.08 and OR = 1.42, respectively), or elevated CIMT [Odd ratio (OR) = 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04–2.24, and OR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.36–2.96, respectively compared to tight Bp control; but did not show glycemic control as independent predictor of either having carotid plaque or elevated CIMT. Conclusions In older patients with hypertension and diabetes, blood pressure control, but not glycemic control is associated with subclinical carotid atherosclerosis.
Background The present study investigated the prognostic value of medical comorbidities at admission for 30-day in-hospital mortality in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Methods A total of 5161 patients with AMI were admitted in Chinese PLA General Hospital between January 1, 1993 and December 31, 2007. Medical comorbidities including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, previous myocardial infarction, valvular heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), renal insufficiency, previous stroke, atrial fibrillation and anemia, were identified at admission. The patients were divided into 4 groups based on the number of medical comorbidities at admission (0, 1, 2, and ≥ 3). Cox regression analysis was used to calculate relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), with adjustment for age, sex, heart failure and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Results The mean age of the studied population was 63.9 ± 13.6 years, and 80.1% of the patients were male. In 74.6% of the patients at least one comorbidity were identified. Hypertension (50.7%), diabetes mellitus (24.0%) and previous myocardial infarction (12%) were the leading common comorbidities at admission. The 30-day in-hospital mortality in patients with 0, 1, 2, and ≥ 3 comorbidities at admission (7.2%) was 4.9%, 7.2%, 11.1%, and 20.3%, respectively. The presence of 2 or more comorbidities was associated with higher 30-day in-hospital mortality compared with patients without comorbidity (RR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.13-1.77, P = 0.003, and RR: 1.95, 95% CI: 1.59-2.39, P = 0.000, respectively). Conclusions Medical comorbidities were frequently found in patients with AMI. AMI patients with more comorbidities had a higher 30-day in-hospital mortality might be predictive of early poor outcome in patients with AMI.
Andropause refers to a generalized decline of male hormones, including testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone in middle-aged and aging men. This decline in hormones has been associated with changes such as depression, loss of libido, sexual dysfunction, and changes in body composition. Aging has been associated with an abundance of concomitant diseases, in particular cardiovascular diseases, and although andropause is correlated to aging, a causal relationship between reduction of androgens and the development of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart failure has not been convincingly established yet. On the other hand, increasing data has emerged that revealed the effects of low levels of androgens on cardiovascular disease progression. As an example, low levels of testosterone have been linked to a higher incidence of coronary artery disease. Whether hormone replacement therapy that is used for andropausal men to alleviate symptoms of “male menopause” can halt progression of cardiovascular disease, remains controversially discussed, primarily due to the lack of well-designed, randomized controlled trials. At least for symptom improvement, the use of androgen replacement therapy in andropausal men may be clinically indicated, and with the appropriate supervision and follow up may prove to be beneficial with regard to preservation of the integrity of cardiovascular health at higher ages.
Acute lung injury (ALI) or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can be associated with various disorders. Recent investigation has involved clinical studies in collaboration with clinical investigators and pathologists on the pathogenetic mechanisms of ALI or ARDS caused by various disorders. This literature review includes a brief historical retrospective of ALI/ARDS, the neurogenic pulmonary edema due to head injury, the long-term experimental studies and clinical investigations from our laboratory, the detrimental role of NO, the risk factors, and the possible pathogenetic mechanisms as well as therapeutic regimen for ALI/ARDS.
Dyslipidemia is a well-established risk factor for atherosclerosis. Treating dyslipidemia in elderly patients requires specific knowledge and understanding of common dyslipidemias and the relative safety of various pharmacologic agents in the presence of possible multiple comorbidities. Lifestyle modification remains the first step in the treatment of dyslipidemia; however, it can be difficult to sustain and achieve acceptable compliance in the elderly and it is best used in combination with drug therapy. Statins are widely accepted as the first-line therapy. Several recent studies have demonstrated that statins are safe and effective in the elderly. However, it is important to note that there is very limited data regarding the effects of dyslipidemia treatment on morbidity and mortality in patients over 85 years of age. In summary, the clinicians must recognize that the presence of dyslipidemia in the elderly poses substantial risk of coronary events and stroke. The available evidence has demonstrated that in most elderly patients who are at increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, treatment of dyslipidemia with appropriate therapy reduces the risk, and when used carefully with close monitoring for safety, the treatment is generally well tolerated. With increasing life expectancy, it is critical for physicians to recognize the importance of detection and treatment of dyslipidemia in the elderly.
Drug-coated balloon has been developed as an alternative to drug-eluting stents for in-stent restenosis but the performance of drug infusion balloon in such setting has not been previously described. We present a case of particularly aggressive in-stent restenosis after drug eluting stent implantation treated with a new kind of drug infusion balloon developed in order to overcome the impossibility to inflate regular drug-coated balloon for several dilatation.