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Am J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 15;112(8):1099-103. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.05.058. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Comparison of usefulness of secondary prevention of coronary disease in patients <80 versus ≥80 years of age.

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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


The population older than 80 years is increasing but data on prevention of coronary disease in this age group are sparse. The present study compared the improvement in quality of life, lipid profile, blood pressure, weight, and physical performance after cardiac rehabilitation in patients <80 versus ≥80 years of age. A total of 1,112 patients, of whom 79 were older than 80 years, entered a 36-session outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program after interventions for coronary heart disease. The program consisted of physical exercise, lifestyle modification, and pharmacotherapy. Quality of life improved by 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6 to 2.0) in octogenarians and 1.8 (95% CI 1.5 to 2.1) in younger patients (p = 0.21), whereas weight decreased by 1.7 lbs (95% CI -2.9 to -0.4) and 3.1 lbs (95% CI -3.6 to -2.5, p = 0.04), respectively. In hypertensive patients, systolic blood pressure decreased from 155 ± 11 to 133 ± 20 mm Hg in octogenarians versus 155 ± 13 to 130 ± 20 mm Hg in younger patients, reducing the prevalence of hypertension to approximately 10% in both groups. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased by 16 mg/dl (95% CI -27 to -5) versus 19 mg/dl (95% CI -22 to -16), increasing the percentage of patients at recommended goals from 32% to 46% in the elderly (p = 0.04) and from 18% to 30% in younger patients (p <0.001). Metabolic equivalent levels increased by 1.0 (95% CI 0.7 to 1.3) in octogenarians versus 2.4 (95% CI 2.2 to 2.5) in younger patients (p <0.001). In conclusion, patients ≥80 years of age in an active secondary prevention program derive a significant benefit in well being, risk factors, and exercise capacity and should not be denied such treatment because of age.

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