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17-01-2010 | Cardiology | Article

Echo abnormalities common, gender-specific in very elderly with CVD


Free abstract

MedWire News: An analysis of echocardiographic findings in nonagenarians found abnormalities were more common than previously reported, and differed between men and women.

“Men were more likely to have coronary artery disease and related findings, whereas women were more likely to have hypertension and related findings,” report Yeruva Madhu Reddy (Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA) and colleagues in the American Journal of Cardiology.

The team analyzed 431 consecutive nonagenerians (mean age 92.4 years) with known cardiovascular disease who underwent transthoracic echocardiography. The majority of the patients were women (73%).

Men were more likely than women to have coronary artery disease (45% vs 36%, p=0.3), and impaired left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (51% vs 40%, p<0.04). They also had a significantly lower LV ejection fraction (50% vs 54%), “as may be expected” with a slightly increased prevalence of CAD, note Reddy and colleagues.

Although the majority (78%) of patients had normal regional wall motion, men were also more likely than women to have abnormalities in this regard (31% vs 19%, p=0.009).

Women were more likely than men to have hypertension (76% vs 52%, p<0.0001), LV hypertrophy (82% vs 72%, p<0.001), severe left atrial enlargement (31% vs 16%, p=0.004), moderate-to-severe mitral annular calcification (22% vs 10%, p=0.006), and tricuspid regurgitation (70% vs 51%, p=0.002).

“In this, largest to date, study of echocardiographic findings in nonagenarians, abnormal findings were much more common than previously reported,” the researchers write.

They concede that some of their findings may be “the result of aging rather than a disease process.”

“However, obtaining echocardiographic findings of a random sample of very elderly citizens without known cardiac disease and comparing them to our findings and those of others would help to delineate the same.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Caroline Price

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