Population aging has increased together with the need for cardiovascular care. Understanding the relevance of cardiovascular conditions in the very old is crucial to developing a specific and rationale therapeutic approach. Centenarians can be considered a model of successful aging, although the impact of cardiovascular disease in this population is still unclear.
To evaluate the cardiovascular health status of a subset of centenarians enrolled in the Centenari a Trieste study and living in the province of Trieste to describe the prevalence of cardiovascular conditions among them.
The current study included 20 individuals born before 1919 and living in the province of Trieste as of 1 May 2019. All centenarians were able to give consent and were subjected to an in-home complete clinical assessment focused on cardiovascular conditions, ECG and echocardiography.
The majority of centenarians were women (85%) and were not taking any chronic cardiovascular medication (55%). No centenarians had a history of ischemic heart disease while about one-third had signs suggestive of heart failure at examination (20%). Atrial fibrillation was present in 20% of individuals and conduction disorders were uncommon. Although the majority of individuals had a preserved left ventricular function, diastolic function was abnormal in 80% of enrolled centenarians that, however, was mild in 73% of cases.
This is the second study to perform in-home echocardiography in centenarians and the first to characterize the cardiovascular status of centenarians living in Trieste. The majority of centenarians had asymptomatic diastolic dysfunction and were naïve from cardiovascular therapy. The recruitment of new individuals from the Trieste area is continuing to perform analyses on clinical, genetic and environmental factors that may predict greater longevity in this geographical context and unveil mechanisms that regulate cardiac aging associated with increased lifespan.