Geriatrics Heart Health

Heart disease may be a killer among the aging population. But lifestyle can provide the first line of defence against this debilitating disease.

As people age, they typically share two overarching goals: to measure an extended life and to measure a high-quality life. A strategy for achieving these goals is to defeat heart disease before it develops. Age is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) for both men and women. During aging, changes occur within the heart that set the backdrop for heart condition. The heart walls thicken and stiffen, preventing the muscle from relaxing and filling adequately between beats. High blood pressure can also occur, further increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. While age-related changes occurring in the heart can lead to heart disease, it is becoming clear that many of these changes are influenced as much by lifestyle as by age. We’ve known for years that a lot of lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and smoking are associated with heart condition risk. But recent research underscores just how important these lifestyle strategies are often for lowering the danger of heart condition as we age.