Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, 2C2 Walter MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R7, Canada. email@example.com
The elderly population (age > or =65) is increasing and with it morbidity, hospitalizations, costs and mortality due to heart failure (HF). HF is a progressive disorder that is superimposed on an on-going aging process. The two broad categories of HF, HF with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction or low ejection fraction (HF/low-EF) and HF with preserved ejection fraction (HF/PEF) are equally prevalent in the elderly. Trials of therapy for HF/low-EF in primarily non-elderly patients showed mortality benefit in elderly patients. In contrast, trials for HF/PEF have not shown mortality benefit in elderly or non-elderly patients. HF pharmacotherapy in the elderly is challenging and needs to be individualized and consider several aging-related changes. More research into the biology of aging and more clinical trials in elderly patients are needed to improve morbidity and mortality in elderly HF patients.