1992 Volume 29 Issue 6 Pages 498-502
The clinical features of congestive heart failure in the elderly were investigated in 104 patients (57 males, 47 females, mean age of 79.2). Patients were divided into two subgroups, the readmission group, 33 patients who were readmitted within 6 months after discharge, and the non-readmission group. Chief complaints were dyspnea, edema, chest pain, loss of appetite, chest compression, and palpitation. Heart failure was caused by infection, myocardial ischemia, arrythmia, inappropriate drug usage including poor drug compliance, the use of beta-blockers, excessive intake of sodium, and anemia. Careful use of drug was essential especially in the readmission group. Major underlying heart disease were ischemic heart disease (39.4%), valvular disease (26.9%), hypertensive heart disease (9.6%), with cardio-myopathy, congenital heart disease seen in the minority. There was no statistically significant difference in underlying heart diseases between the two groups. Supraventricular arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillations, paroxysmal atrial fibrillations, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardias, and premature atrial contractions were noted in 85.3% of the cases. Drugs for treatment were diuretics, digitalis, isosorbide dinitrate, calcium antagonists. ACE inhibitors and alpha-blockers were also used, showing that vasodilators were more extensively used than before. The major complications were hypertension (39.4%), renal dysfunction (27.9%), cerebrovascular disease (26.9%), diabetes mellitus (16.5%), arteriosclerosis obliterans (7.7%). Renal dysfunction, arteriosclerosis oblitrans was seen significantly more frequently in the readmission group. The prognosis at one year after admission was significantly worse in the readmission group. In summary, the major underlying diseases were ischemic heart disease, valvular disease, and hypertensive heart disease. Ischemic heart disease was seen more frequently than in previous investigations at our hospital. Education of patients and careful drug use are needed for prevention of readmission. The prognosis of the readmission group was significantly worse than of the non-readmission group.