Drugs Aging. 1995 Mar;6(3):181-91. doi: 10.2165/00002512-199506030-00002.
Drugs & aging
J Herlitz, M Hartford, M Dellborg, B W Karlson
Elderly patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) more often have a previous history of cardiovascular disease than do younger patients. Furthermore, they less frequently present with typical symptoms and a typical electrocardiogram pattern. Whereas age is the most important predictor for mortality after AMI, the relationship between age and morbidity is more complex. Treatment of elderly patients with AMI is very similar to treatment of younger patients. However, the risk of intolerability to various drugs increases with age, and in many instances doses have to be adjusted. In many trials, the number of lives saved with various interventions seem, if anything, to be more numerous among the elderly. However, it should be remembered that experience with various treatments in the elderly (patients aged > 80 years) is limited. Whether experiences with people aged up to 80 years can be extrapolated to higher age groups is debatable. With increasing age, there is an increased frequency of other disabling diseases, as well as generalised atherosclerosis. It might very well be that even in the elderly it is possible to relieve symptoms and improve morbidity, even though the effects on the prognosis are likely to be less marked.