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Am J Hypertens. 2003 Sep;16(9 Pt 2):18S-22S.

From hypertension to heart failure: update on the management of systolic and diastolic dysfunction.

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Department of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, One Robert Wood Johnson Place, Room MEB-491, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA.


The aging of the population of the United States (US) will bring with it higher numbers of patients with coronary heart disease and heart failure (HF). Because HF already imposes severe economic and medical burdens on our health care system, it is imperative to optimize primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular (CV) disease. In most cases, HF develops as a result of either long-standing hypertension or a myocardial infarction (MI). Other than cardiac death, HF represents the last stage in the progression of CV disease, which begins with CV risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, and smoking. These risk factors lead to the development of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy or an MI (or both), which lead to LV dysfunction and, finally, to HF. The prognosis of HF is poor, the 5-year survival rate being approximately 25%. Heart failure may be due to either LV systolic or diastolic dysfunction, the latter having a normal ejection fraction. Because CV disease is progressive, interventions are possible at all stages along the CV continuum. Beta-blockers (betaB) are recommended agents at several stages of CV disease. Large-scale trials have shown that betaB significantly reduce risks for morbidity and mortality in patients with HF. Ongoing studies should help to clarify further the optimal cardioprotective therapies in patients with HF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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