Hospitalization for heart failure in the elderly

Nancy Sweitzer, Lynne Warner Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


People over 65 years account for >80% of heart failure hospitalizations, with almost half in patients >75. Heart failure hospitalizations accounted for 21% of the annual health care budget for a representative senior program. Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction accounts for over half of heart failure hospitalizations in the elderly. Current therapy for the elderly is directed to relieve congestion by reducing volume overload and hypertension, while addressing exacerbating factors such as ischemia and anemia. Heart rate reduction is critical when sinus rhythm cannot be maintained but can also improve diastolic filling during sinus rhythm. While cardiac transplantation is rarely indicated, other interventions should be actively considered. Most elderly patients admitted with heart failure wish resuscitation. As heart failure progresses, decisions regarding implantable defibrillators or dialysis require careful consideration, and the risk/benefit balance may shift toward therapies to improve quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-281
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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