Chapter

Heart Disease in the Elderly

Imran S. Syed, Joseph G. Murphy and R. Scott Wright

in Mayo Clinic Cardiology

Fourth edition

Published on behalf of © Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199915712
Published online May 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199322824 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199915712.003.1224

Series: Mayo Clinic Scientific Press

Heart Disease in the Elderly

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Older patients have more heart disease than younger patients; they also benefit more from aggressive medical therapy but at the cost of a higher incidence of adverse side effects. Heart weight increases about 1 g per year between ages 30 and 90 years, probably owing to left ventricular hypertrophy secondary to an age-related increase in systolic blood pressure. Ventricular hypertrophy leads to significant changes in cardiac function with age, including an increase in left ventricular stiffness, reduced filling during early diastole, and a prolonged diastolic isometric relaxation phase. The conduction system undergoes marked changes with age, including the loss of 50% to 75% of the pacemaker cells of the sinoatrial node and fibrosis of the specialized conduction tissue of the bundle of His. The result of these physiologic changes in relation to diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in the elderly are reviewed in this chapter.

Chapter.  2627 words. 

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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