ISSN 1671-5411 CN 11-5329/R
Ernst R. Schwarz. Heart failure in the elderly - some aspects in pathophysiology, diagnosis and therapy that require special attention. J Geriatr Cardiol 2007; 4(1): 44-49.
Citation: Ernst R. Schwarz. Heart failure in the elderly - some aspects in pathophysiology, diagnosis and therapy that require special attention. J Geriatr Cardiol 2007; 4(1): 44-49.

Heart failure in the elderly - some aspects in pathophysiology, diagnosis and therapy that require special attention

  • Publish Date: 2007-03-28
  • Approximately 50% of all heart failure patients in the US are above 75 years of age, which is almost similar to most European countries and the Middle and the Far East. Even though aging is an independent molecular process with a multitude of genetic predetermination and biochemical mediations, aging itself does not automatically result in cardiac insufficiency. On the other hand, with increasing age, cardioprotective mechanisms in response to stress are lost, and progressive cardiomyocyte degeneration with replace-ment fibrosis is often seen in older hearts, even though the exact triggers are not completely understood. Older patients with heart failure have distinct features that require special attention in diagnosis as well as therapy. The elderly more frequently suffer from multiple co-morbidities and might have atypical clinical presentations. Several precautions are essential in the treatment of heart failure in the elderly due to co-existing morbidities and the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes related to increased age. Also, treatment expectations, compliance, mental status and cognitive function might play a major role regarding optimized treatment and monitoring options in the elderly suffering from heart failure. This review summarizes current issues of heart failure management in the elderly.
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