Age-related cardiovascular disease and the beneficial effects of calorie restriction

Heart Fail Rev. 2012 Sep;17(4-5):707-19. doi: 10.1007/s10741-011-9293-8.


Aging is a well-recognized risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, which is the primary cause of death and disability in the elderly population. The normal process of aging is associated with progressive deterioration in structure and function of the heart and vasculature. These age-related changes likely act as both a catalyst and accelerator in the development of cardiovascular disease. Since the aging population is one of the fastest growing segments of the population, it is of vital importance that we have a thorough understanding of the physiological changes that occur with aging that contribute to the high incidence of cardiovascular disease in this population. This insight will allow for the development of more targeted therapies that can prevent and treat these conditions. One such anti-aging strategy that has received considerable attention as of late is calorie restriction. Calorie restriction has emerged as one of the most effective and reproducible interventions for extending lifespan, as well as protecting against obesity, metabolic disorders, and cardiovascular disease. Herein, we review the multiple beneficial effects that calorie restriction and resveratrol exert on the cardiovascular system with a particular focus on aging. Although calorie restriction and resveratrol have proven to be very effective in preventing and treating the development of cardiovascular disease in animal models, studies continue as to whether these profound beneficial effects can translate to humans to improve cardiovascular health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / drug effects
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Antimutagenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Resveratrol
  • Risk Factors
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*


  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol