About this Research Topic
In developed countries, human societies are getting older and older and such a trend seems to be continuing in the near future. This implies changes in the prevalence of specific cardiovascular diseases, e.g. heart failure and atrial fibrillation are becoming more and more prevalent and will constitute a real epidemic in the following years. Despite the huge progress in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular illnesses which has been made in recent years, their effects in elderly people still remain far below expectations. Particularly, invasive procedures, like coronary artery by-pass grafting and transcatheter aortic valve implantation, do not improve clinical outcomes in some parts of the elderly population. Beyond concomitant comorbidities, frailty and pre-frailty significantly influence prognosis in any medical conditions.
By definition, frailty is a clinically recognizable state of increased vulnerability, resulting from aging-associated decline in reserve and function across multiple physiologic systems such that the ability to cope with everyday or acute stressors is compromised. According to another definition, frailty is a dynamic pre-disability state that includes losses in physical, psychological and/or social domains. However, pre-frailty constitutes an intermediate state which predisposes to develop real frailty.
It is generally considered that severely frail people are not suitable candidates for cardiac surgery or invasive cardiological procedures since they usually do not benefit from such treatments. Nevertheless, it is not fully understood why some people are frail but others are not despite the same age and comorbidities. There is also very little data concerning the association between frailty and cardiovascular risk factors. It is completely unknown if correction of these risk factors may decrease frailty, or on the other hand, fighting with frailty may reduce cardiovascular burden. Lastly, the critical point is whether one can really treat frailty, and how to effectively do that. A holistic approach with different types of psycho and physiotherapy may be one of the ways to attenuate the detrimental effect of frailty and to improve outcomes in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
This Research Topic will cover all cardiovascular aspects associated with frailty and pre-frailty, and researchers dealing with these topics are welcome to submit related manuscripts.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.