The number of patients over 65 who were hospitalized for heart failure increased by one hundred and thirty one percent between 1980 and 2006, according to research presented at the American Heart Association ‘s Scientific Sessions 2008.
That research also found that heart failure is reaching epidemic levels among seniors in the United States. In Missouri cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death.
"That’s about almost 40 percent of deaths every year are attributed to some form of cardiovascular disease, over 19,000 deaths a year," said Spokesman Stephen Hall.
There is some good news in the new numbers.
"The good news is that we’re living longer," Hall said. "The bad news is that sometimes the quality of life we can improve and so I think we have an opportunity, a unique opportunity to implement healthy lifestyle changes early on so that in addition to living longer the quality of life is going to be there as well."
Those changes include eating better, exercising regularly and working with a physician.