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Heart disease in old age
  1. Florence McKeown
  1. Department of Pathology, The Queen's University, Belfast


    In a post-mortem analysis of 1,500 patients, aged 70 years or more, heart disease and malignancy were the two major causes of death. Coronary disease was exceedingly prevalent, almost one in five being subject to this form of heart disease, and 13% dying from its effects. The levelling of the sex ratio in coronary disease in the aged was a striking feature. The clinical manifestations of coronary thrombosis were often atypical. The incidence of demonstrable coronary thrombosis was as high as in younger age groups. The pathological findings and the incidence of local complications in coronary disease were similar to those in other age groups. Other causes of heart failure were relatively infrequent. Certain features of these conditions in old age are discussed. Cardiac amyloidosis, in the form associated with senility, occurred in a very few cases but did not contribute to heart failure.

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