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Ann Pharmacother. 2010 Oct;44(10):1604-14. doi: 10.1345/aph.1P128. Epub 2010 Sep 14.

Treatment of systolic heart failure in the elderly: an evidence-based review.

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1
Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL, USA. sarif@midwestern.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review relevant literature supporting the use of β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), diuretics, digoxin, aldosterone antagonists, and vasodilators in the management of heart failure in an elderly patient population aged ≥65 years.

DATA SOURCES:

PubMed, EMBASE, and MEDLINE searches (January 1960-April 2010) were utilized to identify primary literature using the key terms heart failure, treatment, and elderly. Additionally, reference citations from publications identified were utilized, as well as the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Heart Failure in the Adult.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION:

Primary and tertiary literature, including subgroup analyses, published in English and relating to the use of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of systolic heart failure in the elderly was reviewed.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

The aging of the US population is creating a higher prevalence of systolic heart failure in the elderly. Most clinical trials have established the mortality and morbidity benefit of pharmacotherapy in heart failure in nonelderly patients; however, the current ACC/AHA guidelines do not clearly delineate this benefit in persons ≥65 years of age.

CONCLUSIONS:

Clinical trial data, based on limited numbers of individuals aged ≥65 years, suggest that use of β-blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, aldosterone antagonists, and vasodilators (hydralazine/nitrates) have similar mortality benefit to that observed in younger patients. As supported in the ACC/AHA guidelines, these agents should be prescribed with clinical judgment to all elderly patients, with close monitoring for adverse events. Future clinical trials with greater inclusion of patients ≥65 years will help to elucidate the magnitude of benefits of optimal pharmacotherapy on mortality and morbidity rates in this population.

PMID:
20841514
DOI:
10.1345/aph.1P128
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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