Pathophysiology of the Aging Heart and Circulation
In Western societies both the prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular disease increase dramatically with advancing age; nevertheless, aging and disease are not synonymous. Therefore, when studying the aging process in man, one must exclude those changes in the elderly groups that in reality are due to the presence or development of disease. This chapter will attempt to delineate those changes in the heart and peripheral vasculature at rest and during exercise which are thought to represent “normal” aging. While these changes in and of themselves usually cause no disability, they provide an altered substrate on which the specific cardiovascular diseases to be discussed in subsequent chapters are superimposed. The signs, symptoms, and clinical course of these pathologic processes may be modified significantly by the physiological aging of the cardiovascular system.
KeywordsStroke Volume Pulse Wave Velocity Radionuclide Angiography Systolic Time Interval Aging Heart
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