Cardiovascular risk factors in elderly With special emphasis on atrial fibrillation, hypertension and diabetes

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: BackgroundThe part of the population that belongs to the oldest-old (ages 80 years or older) increases rapidly, worldwide. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disease burden globally. Multimorbidity is common in old age and stroke, diabetes mellitus (DM) and atrial fibrillation (AF) are strongly associated with age. Cardiovascular risk factors are well studied and documented in younger and middle ages, but not as well in old and frail individuals. Therefore, preventive treatment choices are mostly based on evidence for younger patients. The aim of this thesis was to explore age and other aspects of cardiovascular risk factors; AF, hypertension and DM, in relation to comorbidity, cardiovascular outcome and mortality.MethodsThis thesis was based on four different studies:The ELSA85 study of 85 years old in Linköping, SwedenThe international, multicentre, randomised controlled INTERACT2 trial of spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage (ICH), mean age 64 years.The prospective SHADES study of nursing home residents, mean age 85 years.The prospective, national SWE-diadep study of dispensed antidiabetics, antidepressantsand prevalent myocardial infarction (MI) in 45-84 years old.Data was obtained from questionnaires (ELSA85, INTERACT2), medical records and medical examination (ELSA85, INTERACT2, SHADES), and national registers (SWE-Diadep).ResultsThe ELSA85 study showed that 16% (n=53) had an ECG showing AF. There was an increased hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality in participants with AF at baseline, at 90 years of age (HR 1.59, 95% [Confidence Interval] CI 1.04-2.44) adjusted for sex. This increase in HR did not persist when adjusted for congestive heart failure (CHF). In the INTERACT2 study, increasing age was associated with increasing frequency of death or dependency (odds ratio [OR] 4.36, 95% [CI] 3.12-6.08 for >75 years vs <52 years, p value for trend <0.001). The SHADES study showed that participants with Systolic blood pressure (SBP) <120 mmHg had an increased HR for mortality (1.56, 95% CI, 1.08–2.27; p=0.019) but there were no differences between SBP groups 140–159 mmHg and ?160 mmHg compared with the reference group SBP 120–139 mmHg. SBP decreased during the prospective study period. In the SWE-diadep study, individuals with antidiabetics and antidepressants combined had a greater HR for MI compared to the reference of no antidiabetics or antidepressants, mostly so in women aged 45-64 years (HR 7.4, 95% CI: 6.3-8.6).ConclusionRisk factors for CVDs in elderly differ from cardiovascular risk factors in middle aged individuals an