Heart Failure in the Elderly
Congestive heart failure is a common problem in the elderly . Although the causes of heart failure in older patients are generally the same as those in the general adult population, the clinical presentation and required diagnostic evaluation may differ. Age-related changes in cardiac function and in the peripheral vasculature and the more sedentary life-style of the older patient may mask or, conversely, mimic the usual signs of heart failure. Physicians must be suspicious of vague symptoms, as well as the sometimes unimpressive physical signs of heart failure. At the same time, they must be aware that complaints and physicial signs, which in younger patients suggest cardiac decompensation, may in the elderly be nonspecific. Most importantly, as in other groups of patients, confirmation of the diagnosis of heart failure should be the starting point in a search for reversible or specifically treatable underlying causes.
KeywordsHeart Failure Chronic Heart Failure Aortic Stenosis Acute Heart Failure Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia
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