Aging and heart failure: changing demographics and implications for therapy in the elderly
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The elderly population (age ≥65) is increasing and with it morbidity, hospitalizations, costs and mortality due to heart failure (HF). HF is a progressive disorder that is superimposed on an on-going aging process. The two broad categories of HF, HF with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction or low ejection fraction (HF/low-EF) and HF with preserved ejection fraction (HF/PEF) are equally prevalent in the elderly. Trials of therapy for HF/low-EF in primarily non-elderly patients showed mortality benefit in elderly patients. In contrast, trials for HF/PEF have not shown mortality benefit in elderly or non-elderly patients. HF pharmacotherapy in the elderly is challenging and needs to be individualized and consider several aging-related changes. More research into the biology of aging and more clinical trials in elderly patients are needed to improve morbidity and mortality in elderly HF patients.
KeywordsAging Heart failure Elderly Demographics Therapy
This work was supported in part by grant # from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ottawa, Ontario. I am indebted to Catherine Jugdutt for assistance.
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