Diagnosis and Management of Acute Coronary Syndromes
Nariman Malik, BSc, MD
Geriatrics & Aging
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is one of the leading causes of death in individuals over the age of 651 and, through a variety of syndromes, is responsible for symptomatic and asymptomatic functional abnormalities. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease increases with age and is a major cause of death and disability in the elderly population.2 CHD is the most prevalent cardiac illness in this population: it accounts for 85% of all deaths due to heart disease in persons over the age of 65.3 By age 70, 15% of men and 9% of women have coronary artery disease (CAD) and are at an increased risk of suffering an acute coronary syndrome (ACS).4 By age 80, the severity of lesions becomes nearly equal for men and women.4 An estimated 40% of all individuals over the age of 80 have symptomatic cardiac disease.2
Despite advances in cardiology, CHD is still the leading cause of death in older individuals, especially those aged over 75.1 Nevertheless, there is wide variation in the severity of coronary illness and in the functional status of elderly patients.