©2012 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
The number of super-elderly patients older than 80 years with chronic heart failure (HF) is dramatically increased in Japan; however, therapeutic strategies for patients 80 years or older remains to be established. The present investigation was undertaken to clarify the clinical picture and socioeconomic characteristics of super-elderly HF patients. A total of 380 consecutive patients with acute HF or acutely worsening chronic HF were divided into three groups according to age: patients younger than 60 years, those 60 to 80 years, and those 80 years or older (super-elderly group). HF patients in the super-elderly group initially presented with more atypical symptoms at admission compared with those in the younger age group. The prevalence of HF with preserved ejection fraction was more pronounced compared with the patients in the younger age group. Furthermore, the social background was quite different for the 3 groups in several respects: recurrent hospitalization, the prevalence of dementia, and the number of patients living alone all increased with age. The lack of social support in patients with HF is a problem that needs to be resolved in the “super-graying” societies such as Japan.