Strategies to prevent heart attack, stroke and other major cardiac events should be individualized for older adults who should play a role in choosing their therapies, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement published in its journal Circulation.
The statement is a comprehensive review of the benefits and risks of medical and lifestyle interventions for cardiovascular disease patients age 75 and older. It addresses obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, inadequate nutrition, physical inactivity and tobacco use. It also includes the value of cardiac rehabilitation, revascularization techniques and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
"Preventive care should not be set aside simply because you're getting older," said Daniel Forman, M.D., co-lead author of the statement and director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
The statement is published at a critical time when about 6 percent of the U.S. population (about 18.6 million) is 75 and older. That percentage is expected to double by 2050. More people are living with cardiovascular disease, but many are not receiving evidence-based therapies.
Statement highlights include:
"Care for older adults demands equally rigorous thought as for a younger adult," Forman said.
Co-chair: Jerome L. Fleg, M.D.; co-authors are Kathy Berra, B.S.; Vera Bittner, M.D., M.P.H.; James A. Blumenthal, Ph.D.; Michael A. Chen, M.D., Ph.D.; Susan Cheng, M.D.; Dalane W. Kitzman, M.D.; Mathew S. Maurer, M.D.; Michael W. Rich, M.D.; Win-Kuang Shen, M.D.; Mark A. Williams, Ph.D.; and Susan J. Zieman, M.D., Ph.D.
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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
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