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Article: Precipitating factors leading to decompensation of chronic heart failure in the elderly patient in South-American community hospital[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Exacerbations of heart failure appear frequently associated with precipitating factors not directly related to the evolution of cardiac disease. There still a paucity of data on the proportional distribution of precipitating factors specifically in elderly patients. The aim of this study was to examine prospectively the precipitating factors leading to hospitalization in elderly patients with heart failure in our community hospital. Methods We evaluate elderly patients who need admissions for decompensate heart failure. All patients were reviewed daily by the study investigators at the first 24 h and closely followed-up. Decompensation was defined as the worsening in clinical NYHA class associated with the need for an increase in medical treatment (at minimum intravenously diuretics). Results We included 102 patients (mean age 79 ± 12 years). Precipitating factors were identified in 88.5%. The decompensation was sudden in 35% of the cases. Noncompliance with diet was identified in 52% of the patients, lack of adherence to the prescribed medications amounted to 30%. Others precipitating factors were infections (29%), arrhythmias (25%), acute coronary ischemia (22%), and uncontrolled hypertension (15%), miscellaneous causes were detected in 18% of the cases (progression of renal disease 60%, anemia 30% and iatrogenic factors 10%). Concomitant cause was not recognizable in 11.5%. Conclusions Large proportion heart failure hospitalizations are associated with preventable precipitating factors. Knowledge of potential precipitating factors may help to optimize treatment and provide guidance for patients with heart failure. The presence of potential precipitating factors should be routinely evaluated in patients presenting chronic heart failure.Journal of Geriatric Cardiology 01/2011; J Geriatr Cardiol(8-8):12-14.