The aging and elderly population are particularly susceptible to cardiovascular disease. Age is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adults, but these risks are compounded by additional factors, including frailty, obesity, and diabetes. These factors are known to complicate and enhance cardiac risk factors that are associated with the onset of advanced age. Sex is another potential risk factor in aging adults, given that older females are reported to be at a greater risk for CVD than age-matched men. However, in both men and women, the risks associated with CVD increase with age, and these correspond to an overall decline in sex hormones, primarily of estrogen and testosterone. Despite this, hormone replacement therapies are largely shown to not improve outcomes in older patients and may also increase the risks of cardiac events in older adults. This review discusses current findings regarding the impacts of age and gender on heart disease.
Keywords: aging; cardiovascular disease; estrogen; gender; testosterone.