Although it is now widely recognized that isolated diastolic dysfunction can lead to the classic signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure (CHF), this disease process is poorly understood and remains of great interest and concern to cardiovascular disease specialists, as well as to primary care physicians. Recent epidemiologic data have suggested that diastolic heart failure is predominantly a disease of the elderly, the fastest growing segment of our population. Diagnosis is often difficult in this subgroup of patients due to the presence of confounding comorbidities. However, early identification in community-based practices and timely intervention is important due to the significant disability and death that results from this progressive disease process. The poor prognosis of CHF patients with systolic dysfunction is shared by those with isolated diastolic heart failure and preserved systolic function. Further studies of the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and natural history of patients with diastolic dysfunction are needed. This review focuses on the emerging data regarding the prevalence and natural history of diastolic heart failure in the community.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine