More elderly Americans are living with heart failure

February 25, 2008

The number of elderly individuals newly diagnosed with heart failure has declined during the past ten years, but the number of those living with the condition has increased, according to a report in the February 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

“Heart failure affects nearly 5 million people in the United States, and more than 300,000 die each year as a result of the disease. Heart failure is primarily a disease of elderly persons and, consequently, places a significant and growing economic burden on the Medicare program,” according to background information in the article.

The number of people age 65 or older hospitalized for heart failure from 1984 to 2002 rose by more than 30 percent. “Estimates of the incidence [rate of new cases] and prevalence [percentage of the population affected] of heart failure in elderly persons translate directly into projections of resource use for the Medicare program, so accurate estimates are essential.”

Lesley H. Curtis, Ph.D., of the Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C., and colleagues analyzed information obtained from the files of 622,789 Medicare patients age 65 or older who were diagnosed with heart failure between 1994 and 2003. The rate of new heart failure occurrences and the number of people living with heart failure were measured.

The yearly occurrence of heart failure decreased from 32 per 1,000 person-years (years of observation time during which each person is at risk to develop the disease) in 1994 to 29 per 1,000 person-years in 2003. A sharper decline was seen in Medicare patients age 80 to 84 (from 57.5 to 48.4 per 1,000 person-years), while a slight increase was seen in those age 65 to 69 (from 17.5 to 19.3 per 1,000 person-years).

The number of patients living with the condition increased steadily from about 140,000 to approximately 200,000 with more men living with the disease than women each year. “The proportion of beneficiaries with a heart failure diagnosis grew from 90 per 1,000 in 1994 to 120 per 1,000 in 2000, and remained at about 120 per 1,000 through 2003,” the authors write.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Heart failure treatment options have come a long way

Related Stories

Heart failure treatment options have come a long way

May 5, 2011
This year the Heart Failure Congress 2011, organised by the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), offers a strong scientific programme featuring 11 late breaking trials and clinical updates, ...

Risk of death from heart failure is lower in women than in men

March 8, 2012
Women with chronic heart failure survive longer than their male counterparts, according to a large analysis of studies comprising data on more than 40,000 subjects. The analysis represents the largest assessment of gender ...

Results from world's first registry of pregnancy and heart disease

September 11, 2012
Results from the world's first registry of pregnancy and heart disease have shown that most women with heart disease can go through pregnancy and delivery safely, so long as they are adequately evaluated, counselled and receive ...

Risk of heart transplant rejection reduced by desensitising patient antibodies

May 1, 2017
The risk of heart transplant rejection can be reduced by desensitising patient antibodies, according to research presented today at Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure. The breakthrough comes ...

Scientists turn patients' skin cells into heart muscle cells to repair their damaged hearts

May 23, 2012
For the first time scientists have succeeded in taking skin cells from heart failure patients and reprogramming them to transform into healthy, new heart muscle cells that are capable of integrating with existing heart tissue.

Common painkillers linked to irregular heart rhythm: study

July 4, 2011
Commonly used painkillers to treat inflammation are linked to an increased risk of irregular heart rhythm (known as atrial fibrillation or flutter), concludes a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Recommended for you

Ambitious global virome project could mark end of pandemic era

February 23, 2018
Rather than wait for viruses like Ebola, SARS and Zika to become outbreaks that force the world to react, a new global initiative seeks to proactively identify, prepare for and stop viral threats before they become pandemics.

Forecasting antibiotic resistance with a 'weather map' of local data

February 23, 2018
The resistance that infectious microbes have to antibiotics makes it difficult for physicians to confidently select the right drug to treat an infection. And that resistance is dynamic: It changes from year to year and varies ...

Scientists gain new insight on how antibodies interact with widespread respiratory virus

February 22, 2018
Scientists have found and characterized the activity of four antibodies produced by the human immune system that target an important protein found in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to new research published ...

Study reveals how kidney disease happens

February 22, 2018
Monash researchers have solved a mystery, revealing how certain immune cells work together to instigate autoimmune kidney disease.

Past encounters with the flu shape vaccine response

February 20, 2018
New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person's response to the vaccine.

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.