Undiagnosed Heart Problems

Many elderly people are living with undiagnosed heart conditions.

One in four people in their 80s are needlessly living with debilitating symptoms because they have undiagnosed heart problems that can be treated, a study has found.

Researchers from Newcastle University have said the elderly are missing out on simple heart treatments which can prolong and improve their quality of life.

The study found one in four people aged between 87 and 89 had symptoms of early heart failure , leaving patients feeling exhausted and breathless.  Heart failure means the heart does not beat forcefully enough to pump the blood effectively around the body.These people had not previously been diagnosed and so were not being treated.

Several studies have highlighted how illnesses in elderly people are not investigated thoroughly and are not offered treatment leading to new rules being introduced to outlaw ageism in the NHS.

Professor Bernard Keavney, a cardiologist at Newcastle University who led the study, said: “We were surprised to discover just how many older people have heart problems. Many of these people could be treated with drugs that we know work, if their condition were recognised.”

So if you can identify this in someone elderly you know or care for, please suggest they see their GP.


Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.

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