March 9, 2014
Abstract: Biological aging predisposes older adults to increased cardiovascular disease (CHD) and greater disease complexity. Given the high age-related prevalence of CHD and age-related compounding factors, the recently updated American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation CHD-related guidelines increased their focus on older patients. These guidelines are predominately evidence-based (using data from quality randomized clinical trials) and are organized to delineate medications and procedures that best treat particular cardiovascular diseases. While such rationale and thought work well in young and middle aged adults, they become problematic in patients who are very old. Data pertaining to adults aged >/= 80 are virtually absent from most randomized clinical trials, and even in the instances when very old patients were included, eligibility criteria typically excluded candidates with co-morbidities and complexities of customary CHD patients. While medications and interventions yielding benefit in clinical trials should theoretically produce the greatest benefits for patients with high intrinsic risk, age-related cardiovascular complexities also increase iatrogenic risks. Navigating between the potential for high benefit and high risk in “evidence-based” cardiovascular management remains a key Geriatric Cardiology challenge. In this review we consider the expanded Geriatric Cardiology content of current guidelines, acknowledging both the progress that has been made, as well as the work that still needs to be accomplished to truly address the patient-centered priorities of older CHD patients.
Notes: Forman, Daniel
Wenger, Nanette K
J Geriatr Cardiol. 2013 Jun;10(2):123-8. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1671-5411.2013.02.012.
Author Address: Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.