Heart disease is common and a heart attack is the leading cause of death or disability in older patients. In our research so far, we have shown that older patients receive fewer recommended treatments for a heart attack compared to younger patients, despite being at higher risk of future heart problems and therefore potentially having the most to gain from therapy. Multiple health problems and the risks of complications make it more difficult for clinicians to choose the best treatment for many older patients.
We want to learn the reasons behind treatment differences between younger and older patients and use this information to develop tools, personalised for each patient, which can aid decision making in this increasingly common patient group. This will help patients and their families make informed decisions about their care and doctors to identify patients who will benefit from treatments, regardless of age.