Senescence and arrhythmogenesis

Mahek Mirza, Win Kuang Shen, Arshad Jahangir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cardiac arrhythmias are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly in the elderly. With the rapidly changing population demographics, and increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease, healthcare resource utilization for arrhythmia care is projected to rise exponentially. Aging is associated with electrophysiological alterations due to cardiac structural and functional remodeling, which combined with a blunted response to neurohumoral activation and hemodynamic responsiveness, results in increased propensity to brady and tachy-arrhythmias. These not only affect the quality of life but also contribute to the deterioration in myocardial function leading to heart failure, stroke and death. Despite progress in the management of cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias in the elderly, continue to be a signi ficant predicament. This is mainly due to limited understanding of the mechanisms and therapeutics directed against the underlying substrate that increases susceptibility of the heart to arrhythmogenesis and paucity of outcome studies in the older-elderly that limits speci fic practice guidelines in octo-and nona-genarians. Hence, further investigation is warranted to fully de fine the efficacy of anti-arrhythmic therapeutic modalities in the elderly that have proven to be effective in younger patients. This chapter summarizes the epidemiology, aging-associated cardiac structural and functional changes, basis for arrhythmogenesis, evaluation and management of elderly patients with ventricular tachyarrhythmias that increase predisposition to sudden death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElectrical Diseases of the Heart
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1: Basic Foundations and Primary Electrical Diseases
PublisherSpringer-Verlag London Ltd
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781447148814
ISBN (Print)9781447148807
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Ablation
  • Aging
  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs
  • Arrhythmia
  • Elderly
  • Implantable cardioverter de fibrillator
  • Sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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