Alterazioni morfofunzionali del ventricolo sinistro nell'anziano e vulnerabilità alla necrosi miocardica.

Translated title of the contribution: Morphofunctional changes in the left ventricle of the elderly person and the vulnerability to myocardial necrosis

F. Crea, D. Cianflone, A. Maggioni, C. Fresco, A. Maseri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the Western world the percentage of subjects over the age of 60 years is rapidly increasing. Therefore, elderly individuals represent a progressively increasing proportion of patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD), which is the most prevalent disease in this age range. In the elderly both the clinical presentation and the outcome of IHD have some peculiar features which may have important therapeutic implications. The prevalence of both coronary atherosclerosis and uncomplicated angina pectoris increases up to the sixth decade when it reaches a plateau. Conversely, the prevalence of myocardial infarction increases progressively at increasing ages without reaching any plateau at all. These findings indicate that the higher prevalence of myocardial infarction in the elderly is not caused by a worsening of the atherosclerotic background, but rather by a greater prevalence and/or severity of the functional factors such as local smooth muscle hyperreactivity, local thrombotic stimuli and alterations of the systemic thrombosis-thrombolysis equilibrium which are more directly responsible for the irreversible occlusion of a coronary artery branch. Therefore, the prevention of IHD in the elderly should focus mainly on the ischemic stimuli leading to coronary thrombosis rather than on the atherosclerotic background. Another important feature of IHD in the elderly is the high short and medium-term mortality of acute myocardial infarction. This excess of mortality is caused mainly by a much higher incidence of cardiac rupture, which does not appear to be related to the severity of coronary atherosclerosis nor to the infarct size.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Translated title of the contributionMorphofunctional changes in the left ventricle of the elderly person and the vulnerability to myocardial necrosis
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)451-458
Number of pages8
JournalCardiologia
Volume36
Issue number12 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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