Saturday, February 25, 2012

Some Elderly Heart Failure Patients Get Little Help From Meds, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) -- Elderly people suffering from a type of heart disease called diastolic heart failure do not seem to benefit from the commonly prescribed heart failure drugs, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles report.

As the population in the United States ages, more elderly people are being treated for heart failure. But even though they make up the majority of those treated for the disease, little is known about the effectiveness of treatment, researchers say.

"We really don't have many data on heart failure patients above the age of 80," said lead researcher Dr. Ernst R. Schwarz, medical director of the Cardiac Support Program and co-director of the Heart Transplant Program at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

In their study, the researchers looked at elderly people with diastolic dysfunction. In this condition, the systolic function of the heart is normal. "That means their pump function is normal, but their relaxation is impaired," Schwarz explained. Read more...

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