Quarterly scientific journal

Epidemiological data of cardiovascular diseases in the elderly

Fotoula Babatsikou

Abstract

Based on WHO data, it is estimated that cardiovascular diseases (CDVs) were the leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally, in most developed and many of the developing countries. Due to improved life expectancy, it is estimated that in the next years, the proportion of people aged ≥65 years will increase. With the disproportionate increase of the elderly population worldwide, the number of older patients with cardiovascular disease will expand considerably. Aim: The aim of this study was explore the relationship between the elderly population (65 years or older) and the cardiovascular disease. Material and Methods: A literature review based on both review and research literature, conducted during the period of 1971-2007, derived from Medline, Scopus, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases using as key words epidemiology, elderly, prevalence, incidence, cardiovascular diseases, mortality, and morbidity. Results: Several epidemiological studies conducted in the USA and Europe concludes that both incidence and prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in elderly are increasing. The same prevalence patterns have been reported in Greece for this specific age group. Nearly two-thirds of all deaths in women and men aged ≥ 65 years, are associated to cardiovascular diseases. There is a significant geographic variation in morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases between different countries and within the same countries. Cardiovascular diseases are a major cause of disability in the elderly. Atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, are the main responsible factors for cardiovascular diseases, which cause 70% of all deaths of people over the age of 75. There are also differences associated to the sex, the race, the nationality, the geographic distribution and also the economic cost. Conclusions: The increasing burden of cardiovascular diseases in the ageing population poses a substantial economic burden on societies and their health care systems. Early diagnosis, prevention, detection, therapy and prognosis of cardiovascular diseases in the elderly, can enhance both the quality and the quantity of their lives.

Keywords: Epidemiology, morbidity, mortality, incidence, prevalence, cardiovascular diseases, elderly

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