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Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2008 Apr-Jun;112(2):293-8.

[Heart insufficiency in elderly--new dimensions of the problem].

[Article in Romanian]

Author information

  • 1Universitatea de Medicină si Farmacie Gr T Popa Iaşi Facultatea de Medicină, Disciplina de Medicină Internă.

Abstract

The 21st century's demographic and epidemiologic perspectives suggest an absolute and percentual increment of elderly population. In the same time the prevalence of heart insufficiency increases with advanced age, which transforms heart failure in a true challenge for health insurance system. This new dimension of the problem resides in the increment of heart insufficiency's prevalence and in the high costs of medical care of these patients. Heart failure's medical costs are high not only due to the necessity of compensating the cardiac function but also due to the necessity of treating the etiology, the risk factors and the co-morbidities with cardiac side effects. Elderly patients usually have a low therapeutic compliance and an important number of iatrogenic reactions mainly due to poly-medication, poly-pathology and cognitive and physical deficiencies, which need special measures of therapeutic education for the patient and family and medical survey, probably best in a nursing house; all these elements increase significantly the cost, which is almost double than the cost for cancer. The prophylaxis in heart insufficiency means an extremely efficient management of entire cardiac pathology in order to delay the moment of heart failure. In elderly patients, the treatment in heart insufficiency is difficult not due to hospital treatment of decompensation episodes but due to low therapeutic compliance at home. We need special programs to ensure medical education of the patient and the family/caregiver in order to avoid iatrogenic pathology and to ensure therapeutic efficiency.

PMID:
19294994
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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