The age structure of the U.S. population is expected to change dramatically over the next several decades with a nearly two-fold increase in the size of the population aged ≥65 years by 2050 [1
]. While adults aged 65-84 years accounted for 10.9% of the total population in the year 2000, this proportion is estimated to increase to approximately 16% by 2050. Moreover, it is anticipated that individuals ≥85 years of age will account for 4.3% of the population in the 2050, representing a more than two-fold increase from 2010 [1
]. In absolute terms, and considering the projected growth of the overall population, the number of adults aged ≥85 years is estimated to increase from approximately 5.8 million in 2010 to 19 million by 2050, a 228% increase [1
]. These projected changes in the U.S. age distribution translate into a significant burden in terms of morbidity, mortality, and costs related to cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
The age-related increase in CVD morbidity and mortality can be appreciated by consideration of the population-based disease-specific incidence and prevalence rates of CVD, including coronary heart disease (CHD), peripheral arterial disease (PAD), heart failure (HF), valvular heart disease, and stroke. Similarly insightful is a review of the associations between age and several measures of subclinical CVD, such as coronary artery calcification and the ankle brachial index (ABI). The impact of CVD on successful aging versus frailty, hospitalization rates, and cost will provide an important additional perspective.
Data presented in this review are derived primarily from population-based epidemiologic studies of community-dwelling U.S. adults, including those focusing on older adults, such as the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) [2