More elderly Americans are living with heart failure

Feb 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: Nanopatch to help WHO battle polio

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Continuous monitoring of UV exposure

Apr 29, 2013

UV lamps are used to cure coatings and adhesives in many industrial manufacturing processes. And special sensors are used to measure the intensity of the UV light applied to these surfaces. But because these ...

Russia puts mice, newts in space for a month (Update)

Apr 19, 2013

A Russian rocket carrying a capsule filled with 45 mice and 15 newts along with other small animals blasted off Friday on a month-long orbital mission that should pave the way for manned flights to Mars.

New genetic cause of cardiac failure discovered

Nov 25, 2009

Over the course of a lifetime, the heart pumps some 250 million liters of blood through the body. In the order to do this, the muscle fibers of the heart have to be extremely durable. The research group headed by Dr. Wolfgang ...

Recommended for you

Nanopatch to help WHO battle polio

2 hours ago

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) battle against polio has a new weapon after joining forces with Vaxxas, the biotechnology company responsible for developing revolutionary vaccine delivery method the Nanopatch.

Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time?

6 hours ago

President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could threaten security around the world, and he ordered 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the region in emergency aid muscle ...

First domestic case of chikungunya in Brazil

6 hours ago

Brazil's authorities on Tuesday reported the first domestically contracted cases of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, prompting the government to announce it was stepping up attempts to control the disease.

Australia promises $6.4 million to fight Ebola

7 hours ago

Australia announced on Wednesday it will immediately provide an additional 7 million Australian dollars ($6.4 million) to help the international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

User comments : 0