Ageing, demographics, and heart failure

Andrew J Stewart Coats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heart failure (HF) is a complex clinical syndrome resulting from structural or functional cardiac disorders. In the developed world, HF is primarily a disorder of the elderly. It is one that is accompanied by many non-cardiac comorbidities that affect treatments given, the patient's response and treatment tolerance and outcomes. Even the pathophysiological mechanisms of HF change as we look at older patient populations. Younger HF patients typically have ischaemic heart disease and HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), whereas older patients have more hypertension HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). The prevalence of HF has progressively increased for many years and rises even more steeply with age. The outcomes of older especially HFpEF patients have not progressed as much younger HFrEF cohorts. We need more studies specifically recruiting older HF patients with more comorbidities, to guide real-world practice, and we need more assessment of patient-reported outcomes and quality of life rather than just mortality effects. The management of elderly patients with HF requires a more holistic approach recognizing individual needs and necessary support mechanisms and our future trials need to guide us more in achieving these gains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L4-L7
JournalEuropean Heart Journal, Supplement
Issue numberSuppl L
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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