Drug Therapy of Heart Failure in the Elderly

Michael W. Rich, MD


Am J Geriatr Cardiol. 2003;12(4) 

In This Article


Once HF is clinically manifest, the prognosis is poor, with survival rates worse than for most forms of cancer.[42] In addition, survival rates decline progressively with advancing age, such that 2-year survival following an index hospitalization for HF is less than 50% among patients ≥85 years of age.[43] In light of the bleak outlook associated with established HF, aggressive efforts are warranted to reduce the risk of incident HF in high-risk populations, i.e., persons with stage A or B HF according to the recently revised American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association HF guidelines.[4] Effective preventive strategies include aggressive treatment of hypertension, which has been shown to reduce the risk of incident HF by up to 50% ( Table V ),[44,45,46,47,48,49,50] cholesterol reduction in patients with coronary artery disease,[51] and treatment of asymptomatic LV systolic dysfunction with an ACE inhibitor.[52]