less than 1 minute read

Organ Systems Physiological Changes: Cardiovascular

Heart Structure And Function At Rest, Reserve Capacity Of The Heart, Vascular Structure And Function At Rest

The cardiovascular system undergoes a large number of changes with advancing age, some of which occur in the apparent absence of disease; and many of which are either caused by, or exacerbated by, disease. Cardiovascular diseases comprise a group that accounts for nearly one-half of all deaths in the United States. The incidence of noncongenital cardiovascular maladies, e.g., congestive heart failure, increases dramatically with advancing age (see Figure 1). Cardiovascular diseases conspire with advancing age and a number of unhealthful lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking, physical inactivity, high-fat diet) to create the dangerous scenario that leads to a high incidence of cardiovascular events (heart attack, stroke) in older persons. To understand how aging contributes to cardiovascular disease and dysfunction, it is necessary to define the changes that occur "naturally" with advancing age in apparently healthy individuals without detectable cardiovascular disease.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 3