Heart failure in the elderly: characteristics of a Swedish primary health care population
2002 (English)In: Heart Drug, ISSN 1422-9528, E-ISSN 1424-0556, Vol. 2, no 5, 211-220 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: Heart failure (HF) is a challenge to diagnose and treat according to guidelines. Few studies have been performed in elderly subjects with symptoms that might be associated with HF in primary health care.
Objective: To study elderly patients presenting with symptoms possibly associated with HF, with respect to systolic and diastolic function, B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels and treatment.
Methods: A cardiologist examined 415 elderly (65–82 years) patients with symptoms of dyspnoea, fatigue and/or peripheral oedema. All patients underwent echocardiography and plasma BNP determination. Systolic function was determined semiquantitatively, and ejection fraction (EF) <40% was considered to be reduced. Abnormal diastolic function was defined as a reduced ratio of peak early diastolic filling velocity to peak filling velocity at atrial contraction (E/A ratio; age adjusted) or an abnormal pattern of pulmonary venous flow.
Results: Forty-eight percent of the patients showed abnormal systolic (26%) or diastolic function (22%). A majority of the patients with diastolic HF had relaxation abnormalities and neither pseudonormal nor restrictive filling patterns. Increased levels of BNP were found in the group with impaired systolic function. More than half of those with EF <40% were not receiving angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitions at all, or were on a suboptimal dose, whereas others were on treatment for an HF diagnosis despite normal cardiac function.
Conclusion: Diagnostic tools that are more objective than clinical examination are needed for the diagnosis of HF.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 2, no 5, 211-220 p.
Elderly patients, Heart failure, Primary health care
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-46849DOI: 10.1159/000067723OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-46849DiVA: diva2:267745