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Heart Fail Rev. 2002 Jan;7(1):9-16.

The burden of chronic congestive heart failure in older persons: magnitude and implications for policy and research.

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Division of Cardiology, Denver Health Medical Center, 777 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204, USA.


Heart failure disproportionately affects the older population. Approximately 80% of all cases of heart failure in the United States occur in persons aged 65 years and older. It is associated with very poor long-term survival, with a minority surviving 5 years after diagnosis. In the older population, heart failure accounts for more hospital admissions than any other single condition. Following hospitalization for heart failure, older persons are at high risk for re-hospitalization: nearly half are readmitted within 6 months. The economic impact of the condition is thus dramatic. Despite the importance of heart failure in the older population, there is a dearth of research specifically targeting this group. This review highlights the importance of heart failure in the older population and identifies the specific areas where research and policy initiatives may be instrumental in reducing the impact of the condition.

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