2019 Vol. 16, No. 1
Background As a consequence of the demographic development with increasing proportion of older people, the prevalence of heart failure (HF) is expected to rise with considerable economic and societal costs. However, knowledge on cardiac structure and function among population-based samples of the exceptional old is lacking. Methods Population-based study of all persons (no exclusion criteria) living in the western part of Denmark and turning 100 years in the year 2015. In-home face-to-face interviews were conducted, and echocardiography and blood sampling for plasma Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) were offered to those who were able to give consent. Results Out of 303 eligible, 238 (79%) participated, of which 125 (53%) accepted echocardiography. Left ventricular (LV) dysfunction was present in 68 (54%) of the participants of whom less than half had HF symptoms. Pulmonary hypertension was present in 31 (42%) with no correlation to LV function. The well-known association between increased level of BNP and the prevalence of LV dysfunction could not be confirmed. Conclusions This in-home echocardiographic study shows that more than half of the participants had LV dysfunction, although mostly asymptomatic. There was no association between heart failure symptoms and LV dysfunction. Furthermore, BNP seems to have lost its biomarker potential to rule out heart failure in centenarians. Due to the latter, and the questionable symptom validity among centenarians, the current criteria to diagnose HF might be less valid in a centenarian population than in younger olds.
Background Our overall goal is to improve clinical care for inpatients with chronic heart failure (CHF). A retrospective assessment of CHF patients admitted to our hospital over the past decade (2005 vs. 2014) indicated a need for better strategies to evaluate clinical treatment, implement best practices and achieve optimal patient outcome. To that purpose, we developed a standardized plan to improve in-hospital treatment of acute decompensated CHF patients. Methods & Results Retrospective chart reviews were conducted to compare three cohorts of CHF patients admitted to the University Hospital of Lund at different time points over a 12-year period: 2005 (365 patients), 2014 (172 patients) and 2017–2018 (57 patients). Little improvement was seen between 2005 and 2014 with respect to one-year mortality (35% vs. 34%) and adequate treatment with recommended medications, e.g., use of renin-angiotensin system blockers (45% vs. 51%). A standardized treatment plan was devised to improve outcomes. A third cohort, treated under the plan (2017–2018), was compared with the 2014 cohort. One-year mortality (18% vs. 34%) and 30-day readmission (5% vs. 30%) were dramatically decreased, and adherence to medication guidelines was achieved. Key elements of the plan included well-defined treatment procedures, enhanced communication and teamwork, education, adequate time for treatment (5 days) and post-discharge follow-up as necessary. Natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels were useful for assessing patient status, prognosis and response to treatment. Conclusions Development of a standard plan for clinical management of acute decompensated CHF patients resulted in significant improvements in patient outcome, as reflected in decreased rates of 30-day readmission and one-year mortality.
Objective To assess antihypertensive management of older patients with poor blood pressure (BP) control. Methods Physicians, voluntary participating in the study, included six consecutive hypertensive patients during routine visits. Hypertension had to have been previously recognized and averaged office BP was ≥ 140 and/or ≥ 90 mmHg in spite of ≥ 6 weeks of antihypertensive therapy. The physicians completed a questionnaire on patients’ history of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, comorbidities, home BP monitoring, anthropometric data and the pharmacotherapy. Results Mean age of the 6462 patients was 61 years, 7% were ≥ 80 years, 51% were female. Mean ± SD office BP values were 158 ± 13/92 ± 10 mmHg. The most commonly prescribed antihypertensive drugs were: diuretics (67%), ACE inhibitors (64%), calcium channel blockers (58%) and β-blockers (54%), and their use increased with age. On monotherapy or dual therapy, 43% of the patients and 40% had their latest treatment modification within six months. Home BP monitoring was a factor that accelerated the modification of the therapy. Older patients had to have less chance on faster modification of antihypertensive therapy in spite of presence of diabetes and higher systolic BP. Conclusions Our study suggests that a large number of outpatients with poor BP control receive suboptimal antihypertensive therapy, especially in primary care. In older patients, higher BP values in the office settings are more frequently accepted by physicians even in case of higher CV risk. Regular home BP monitoring hastens the decision to intensify of antihypertensive treatment.
Background Diabetes is often associated with coronary artery disease, leading to adverse clinical outcomes. Real-world data is limited regarding the impact of diabetes in very old patients undergoing coronary angiography on the risk for late or repeated coronary revascularization and mortality. Methods Retrospective analysis of 1,353 consecutive patients ≥ 80 years who were admitted to the cardiac unit and further underwent coronary angiography. Subsequent revascularization procedures and all-cause mortality were recorded over a median follow-up of 47 months and their relation to diabetic status and presentation with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) was studied. Results Diabetes was present in 31% of the patients undergoing coronary angiography, and was associated with higher rates of obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, chronic kidney disease and female gender. ACS was the presenting diagnosis in 71% of the patients and was associated with worse survival (1-year mortality 20% in ACS vs. 6.2% in non-ACS patients, P P = 0.005), but not in the non-ACS setting (P = 0.199). In a multivariable model, additionally adjusting for acuity of presentation, the presence of diabetes was associated with an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.60 (95% confidence interval: 1.12–2.28), P = 0.011, for the need of late or repeat coronary revascularization and 1.48 (1.26–1.74), P Conclusions In very old patients undergoing coronary angiography, presentation with ACS was associated with worse survival. Diabetes was an independent predictor of late or repeated revascularization and long-term mortality.
Background Valvular heart disease (VHD) is expected to become more prevail as the population ages and disproportionately affects older adults. However, direct comparison of clinical characteristics, sonographic diagnosis, and outcomes in VHD patients aged over 65 years is scarce. The objective of this study was to evaluate the differences in clinical characteristics and prognosis in two age-groups of geri?atric patients with VHD. Methods We retrospectively enrolled consecutive individuals aged ≥ 65 years from Guangdong Provincial Peo?ple’s Hospital and screened for VHD using transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) or transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Finally, 260 (48.9%) patients were in the 65–74 years group, and 272 (51.1%) were in the ≥ 75-year group. Factors that affected long-term survival was explored. A multivariable Cox hazards regression was performed to identify the predictors of major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) in each group. Results In our population, the older group were more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), degenerative VHD, but with less rheumatic VHD, aortic stenosis (AS) and mitral stenosis (MS). Compared with those aged 65–74 years, the older group had a higher incidence of all-cause death (10.0% vs. 16.5%, P = 0.027), ischemic stroke (13.5% vs. 20.2%, P = 0.038) and MACEs (37.3% vs. 48.2%, P = 0.011) at long-term follow-up. In multivariable Cox regression analysis, mitral regurgitation, a history of COPD, chronic kid?ney disease, diabetes, hypertension, atrial fibrillation and New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class were identified as inde?pendent predictors of MACEs in the older group. Conclusions Advanced age profoundly affect prognosis and different predictors were associated with MACEs in geriatric patients with VHD.
Background The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach has been frequently applied to compute the fractional flow reserve (FFR) using computed tomography angiography (CTA). This technique is efficient. We developed the DEEPVESSEL-FFR platform using the emerging deep learning technique to calculate the FFR value out of CTA images in five minutes. This study is to evaluate the DEEPVESSEL-FFR platform using the emerging deep learning technique to calculate the FFR value from CTA images as an efficient method. Methods A single-center, prospective study was conducted and 63 patients were enrolled for the evaluation of the diagnostic performance of DEEPVESSEL-FFR. Automatic quantification method for the three-dimensional coronary arterial geometry and the deep learning based prediction of FFR were developed to assess the ischemic risk of the stenotic coronary arteries. Diagnostic performance of the DEEPVESSEL-FFR was assessed by using wire-based FFR as reference standard. The primary evaluation factor was defined by using the area under receiver-operation characteristics curve (AUC) analysis. Results For per-patient level, taking the cut-off value ≤ 0.8 referring to the FFR measurement, DEEPVESSEL-FFR presented higher diagnostic performance in determining ischemia-related lesions with area under the curve of 0.928 compare to CTA stenotic severity 0.664. DEEPVESSEL-FFR correlated with FFR (R = 0.686, P P = 0.619). The secondary evaluation factors, indicating per vessel accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 87.3%, 97.14%, 75%, 82.93%, and 95.45%, respectively. Conclusions DEEPVESSEL-FFR is a novel method that allows efficient assessment of the functional significance of coronary stenosis.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in elderly population, with age being one of the most important factors involved in its pathogenesis. Conduction disturbances may be present on the surface electrocardiogram before AF onset in some patients. Once this arrhythmia is diagnosed, antithrombotic therapy is mandatory in most cases, as this is the only treatment that has demonstrated to improve survival. Age increases both the risk of thromboembolic and bleeding complications, while benefits from anticoagulant therapy outweigh that from bleeding in most scenarios, also in very elderly patients. However, elderly patients with AF are often undertreated. Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants have emerged as an alternative to vitamin K antagonists, with significant less adverse events and better profile in terms of efficacy and safety. Other conditions related to age should be carefully evaluated in these patients (including frailty, comorbidity and polypharmacy) to ensure an individualized clinical and therapeutic approach.