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April 1986

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in the ElderlyA Frequently Misdiagnosed Disease

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(4):658-661. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360160060007

• In 20 elderly patients (mean age, 76 years; range, 70 to 86 years), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was diagnosed echocardiographically. Although the disease was moderate to severe in all patients, the diagnosis was not suspected in 19 patients prior to echocardiography. Inappropriate therapy consisting of potentially harmful drugs, such as digitalis, nitrates, and diuretics, was commonly used, often for unclear indications. Since echocardiography can easily and accurately diagnose hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an increased awareness of its occurrence in the elderly and use of echocardiography would reduce diagnostic and therapeutic errors.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:658-661)