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Older patients with 1 type of heart failure may receive little or no benefit from drugs
Date:3/12/2009

this study was 87 years at the time of initial hospitalization with heart failure; 31 percent of the subjects were men. Sixty-nine percent of the patients died during the five-year follow-up, and none of the drug therapies statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, nitrates, and digoxin appeared to make a significant difference in which patients survived and which did not.

"The risk of adverse drug effects in the geriatric population is high. Because older patients may be taking multiple medications for a variety of medical conditions, and because drugs may affect older people differently than they do younger people, it is important for physicians to prescribe heart medications judiciously and account for a different and often more severe side effect spectrum" said Schwarz, professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, medical director of the Cardiac Support Program and co-director of the Heart Transplant Program at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. The study points out that more research is needed to evaluate the effects of therapies among the very elderly patients with heart failure.


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Contact: Sally Stewart
sally.stewart@cshs.org
310-248-6566
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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