How Does Your Heart Change with Age?

How Does Your Heart Change with Age?

When it comes to the health of your heart, a number of changes take place in your arteries in terms of their elasticity. The elasticity of the walls of blood vessels decreases, the inner shell condenses, and the calcium and lipid salts are deposited in the middle shell.  The sealing of the arterial walls leads to a narrowing of the blood vessels, destabilization of peripheral vascular resistance and systolic blood pressure. Such changes contribute to an increase in the load on the myocardium of the ventricles, and, as a result, cardiac arrhythmias, sudden jumps in blood pressure, and insufficient blood supply to organs occur.

For elderly people, an increase in systolic blood pressure and a decrease in venous pressure, and rapid heartbeat are characteristic. Until the age of 50, the diastolic (lower) pressure rises along with the arterial (upper) pressure, but as a person ages, a significant increase in upper (blood) pressure is noted. Usually, isolated systolic hypertension worsens with age.

The decline in the elasticity of blood vessels contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases and increases the death rate from heart attacks and strokes. In older men, blood pressure increases gradually. Women after menopause experience a more dramatic jump in upper pressure. Senile vein changes as a result of sclerosis of the walls and valves are associated with atrophy of the muscle layer. At the same time, a characteristic increase in the volume of venous vessels leads to a decrease in their tone.

Structural and functional changes in the body, hormonal imbalance, pathological conditions associated with changes in metabolic processes create a clinical picture of cardiovascular diseases in the elderly. Neurohumoral regulation of blood circulation is subject to changes, capillaries become more sensitive to adrenaline (the hormone of fear) and noradrenaline (the rage hormone). The effect on the cardiovascular system of the autonomic nervous system decreases with the onset of senile age, but the susceptibility to catecholamines, angiotensin and other hormones responsible for stress, blood pressure, and emotional state of the person increases.

In older people, there is increased blood clotting – hypercoagulation. This property of blood is a great danger in old age. In this condition, the blood becomes much thicker and leads to dangerous consequences: the risk of blood clots in small vessels, blockage of the coronal artery or brain vessel, hypertension, atherosclerosis, intracerebral hemorrhage.

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