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Diastolic heart failure

      Diastolic heart failure (DHF) is estimated to occur in 40% to 50% of patients with heart failure. Evidence suggests that DHF is primarily a cardiogeriatric syndrome that increases from approximately 1% at age 50 years to 10% or more at 80 years. DHF is also more likely to occur in older women who are hypertensive or diabetic. Although survival is better in patients with DHF compared with systolic heart failure, mortality rates for patients with DHF are four times higher than those for healthy, community-dwelling older adults. The increase in DHF is anticipated to continue during the next several decades largely because of the aging of the population; increase in risk factors associated with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity; and ongoing technologic advances in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Few clinical trials have evaluated therapy in this population, so evidence about the effectiveness of treatment strategies for DHF is limited. Future research should target novel interventions that specifically target patients with DHF who are typically older and female, and experience exertional intolerance and have a considerably reduced quality of life.
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