How to Prevent Heart Disease in Elderly
Heart disease is the leading cause of the death in the United States. It is also a major cause of disability. There are many things that can raise your risk for heart disease. They are called risk factors. Some of them you cannot control, but there are many that you can control. Learning about them can lower your risk of heart disease.
The aging of the population worldwide will result in increasing numbers of elderly patients, among whom heart disease is the leading cause of death. Changes in cardiovascular physiology with normal aging and prevalent comorbidities result in differences in the effects of common cardiac problems as well as the response to their treatments. Patient-centered goals of care such as maintenance of independence and reduction of symptoms may be preferred over increased longevity. New less-invasive treatments are likely to improve outcomes in elderly patients who previously have been considered at prohibitive risk for traditional procedures. Clinical trials enrolling elderly patients are limited and recommendations for management from younger patients frequently lack evidence-based support in patients aged >75 years.
NICE recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. This can be defined either subjectively or in terms of relative changes in metabolic rate. They also advise muscle strengthening activities on two or more days per week. A recommendations with almost identical prescriptions, referring to a solid and consensual body of evidence. (European Guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practice) The guidelines all state that any form of exercise provides CVD risk reduction, with those newly starting exercise achieving greatest benefit and any subsequent increases providing significant but diminishing returns. Persuading the population to exercise as suggested remains difficult despite the obvious benefits, but the evidence is clear that any increase in physical activity reduces risk of CVD.(Sattelmair J, Pertman J).
On balance, your function and mobility decreases as your muscles weaken. Being active is the best way to slow loss of muscle and maintain your aerobic capacity. While many older adults remain independent, your ability to do moderate to strenuous activity declines unless you take action to preserve it. If you or a loved one is an older adult, use this condition center to learn what you can do to become empowered and be an advocate for your health.
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