Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
On-line version ISSN 1678-9849
ROCHA, Manoel Otávio Costa et al. Cardiovascular function in elderly patients with chronic chagasic cardiopathy. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2003, vol.36, n.5, pp. 545-550. ISSN 1678-9849. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0037-86822003000500001.
The objective of this work was to verify the degree and type of heart damage of elderly chagasic patients seen at an outpatient referral center and to compare them with the changes found in young chagasic patients with a similar degree of heart damage. Elderly and young patients without advanced cardiopathy presented good functional behavior. Elderly patients with advanced cardiopathy had more ventricular premature beats (VPB) in 24 h and less functional capacity in the exercise test than young patients of the same subgroup. There was a higher occurrence of effort-induced VPB and a lower prevalence of severe forms in elderly men, suggesting that Chagas' disease may have a worse evolution in males. The association of cardiac damage characteristic of aging with the secondary damage due to Chagas' disease could explain the greater functional damage found in elderly chagasic patients. Thus, it appears that the physiopathological components of Chagas' disease do have an influence on the clinical course of cardiopathy in the elderly population.
Keywords : Chagas' disease; Chagasic cardiomyopathy; Cardiovascular function; Elderly.