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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2001 June;49(3):169-78

Copyright © 2001 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Modifications in cardiovascular functional parameters with aging

Fioranelli M., Piccoli M., Mileto G. M., Risa M. P., Sgreccia F., Azzolini A. P., Puglisi A.


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Background. The constant rise in the number of old people involves a great interest towards the aging of the cardiovascular system. Many authors have studied age-adjusted limits to echocardiographic and functional parameters. The aim of this study is to evaluate some functional parameters so as to define the cardiovascular modifications of the aging heart.
Methods. We have studied 66 patients, 32 of mean age 71±4 years (Group 1) and 34 with mean age 33±6 years (Group 2), without cardiovascular diseases, through basal echocardiography and exercise test.
Results. In comparison to group 2, in group 1 we have observed at rest normal ventricular dimensions with increase of the thickness (SIV 11.2±0.4 vs 9+0.6, p=0.01; PP 10.6±0.6 vs 9.2+0.4, p=0.01), of the left atrium (41.2±1.08 vs 36.2+1.3, p=0.05), and of the aortic root (33.2±1.3 vs, 30.8+0.9, p=0.05), altered diastolic function (E/A 0.7±0.14 vs 1.9±0.7, p=0.01), with normal systolic indexes. At 100 Watts workload there was an age-related increase in end-diastolic volume (142±10.6 vs 127±4.3, p=0.01) and an age related decrease in heart rate (HR 100 W 148±10.7 vs 169±10.9, p=0.05).
Conclusions. In the heart of an elderly subject therefore there are morphological modifications that in the absence of organic pathologies can support the metabolic demands of the organism and adapt to the physiological modifications of the elderly subject.

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