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Management of chronic heart failure in the older population
Nahid Azad,Genevieve Lemay.Management of Chronic Heart Failure in the Older PopulationJ Geriatr Cardiol 2014,11(4):329~337
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Authors:Nahid Azad1;Genevieve Lemay1

Author Affiliation:1.Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus Geriatric Assessment Unit 1053, Carling Avenue, Box 678 Ottawa, ON K1Y 4E9, Canada;


Abstract: Chronic heart failure (CHF) is the leading cause of hospitalization for those over the age of 65 and represents a significant clinical and economic burden. About half of hospital re-admissions are related to co-morbidities, polypharmacy and disabilities associated with CHF. Moreover, CHF also has an enormous cost in terms of poor prognosis with an average one year mortality of 33%–35%. While more than half of patients with CHF are over 75 years, most clinical trials have included younger patients with a mean age of 61 years. Inadequate data makes treatment decisions challenging for the providers. Older CHF patients are more often female, have less cardiovascular diseases and associated risk factors, but higher rates of non-cardiovascular conditions and diastolic dysfunction. The prevalence of CHF with reduced ejection fraction, ischemic heart disease, and its risk factors declines with age, whereas the prevalence of non-cardiac co-morbidities, such as chronic renal failure, dementia, anemia and malignancy increases with age. Diabetes and hypertension are among the strongest risk factors as predictors of CHF particularly among women with coronary heart disease. This review paper will focus on the specific consideration for CHF assessment in the older population. Management strategies will be reviewed, including non-pharmacologic, pharmacologic, quality care indicators, quality improvement in care transition and lastly, end-of-life issues. Palliative care should be an integral part of an interdisciplinary team approach for a comprehensive care plan over the whole disease trajectory. In addition, frailty contributes valuable prognostic insight incremental to existing risk models and assists clinicians in defining optimal care pathways for their patients.


Heart failure; Elderly patient; Management; Hypertension; Coronary artery disease; diabetes
Received:July 19, 2014        Accepted:September 30, 2014   Published Online:December 15, 2014
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