Age Related Changes That Occur in the Cardiovascular System Essay

954 Words May 3rd, 2013 4 Pages
Age Related Changes that Occur in the Cardiovascular System

Age Related Changes that Occur in the Cardiovascular System

In the normal conduction of the heart the electrical impulse starts in the SA node, also called the pacemaker of the heart. The electrical impulse travels through the right atrium and through the Bachmann’s bundle into the left atrium. This stimulates the atria to contract. Next the signal travel to the AV node. The AV node slightly delays the signal. This delay is needed for the heart to beat properly. Without this delay the atria and ventricles would beat at the same time. The electrical signal then travels to the Bundle of His where it is split into the signals going to the right and left ventricle. The signal
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This type of build up is called atherosclerosis. As this grows it occludes the arteries which in turn decreases the amount of oxygen reaching the heart. This can lear to chest pain and heart attacks.
The risk of CAD increases with age. 37% of people in the age range of 65-74 years old and 48% of those over the age of 75 (REF 1) reported having this type of illness. In the 75 years and over, more than one third of men and approximately one quarter of women are currently living with coronary artery disease.
Hypertension is more common in the 60 and over range. Hypertension is define as a blood pressure of 140/90 or greater. Hypertension is related to the loss of elasticity in the aorta. Blood pressure mainly systolic pressure rises with age. In a community based study 90% of midlife adults with normal blood pressure developed hypertension in late life. (Ref 2)
Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart beat. It’s more common in the aging adult. Arrhythmias occur when the electrical signals on the heart are not working correctly and making the heart beat in irregular rhythm. Many different things can lead to arrhythmias.
Cardiac arrhythmias can be caused by a heart attack, scarring from prior heart attack, blocked arteries (CAD), hypertension, changes to your heart's structure, such as from cardiomyopathy. Most common arrhythmias in the elderly are tachycardia and bradycardia.
Tachycardia is a heart rate greater than

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