Purpose To determine the frequency and severity of left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction with increasing age.
Methods 103 consecutive patients (55 females and 48 males) referred for echocardiography who had sinus rhythm and no mitral stenosis or severe regurgitation, AV block, intraventricular conduction delay, anemia, thyrotoxicosis, AV shunt, or electronic pacemaker had Doppler interrogation of mitral, pulmonary vein diastolic flows and mitral annulus motion (tissue Doppler), and measurement of ejection fraction (EF) by standard protocol. Diastolic function was graded as normal or abnormal (mild, moderate, severe) by the consensus of three observers using predetermined criteria. Presence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) was defined as the patient-recalled history of myocardial infarction, valvular disease, or hypertension; the current use of antihypertensive agents; or investigator-determined blood pressure > 140/90 mm Hg.
Results The older the patient, the more advanced the diastolic dysfunction (p < .0001). On the other hand, the age-related increase in frequency of CVD was significant (p = .005), as was the association of CVD to the presence of diastolic dysfunction (dysfunction present in 69% with CVD and 27% without CVD, p = .002). Conclusions: The prevalence and severity of diastolic dysfunction, but not systolic dysfunction, increase with advancing age and correlate with the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease.