Scientists recently discovered that it is possible to prevent age-related changes in the hearts of mice and this could have an impact on eldercare.
A report published in the American Heart Association's (AMA) medical journal suggests that suppressing a certain gene could allow the heart to remain functional longer.
"The study provides evidence that delaying or preventing heart failure in humans may be possible," said Dr Tetsuo Shioi, the senior author of the study.
"Advanced age is a major risk factor for heart failure. One reason is that aging increases the chance of exposure to cardiovascular risk factors."
Dr Shioi and his team studied elderly mice whose PI3K gene activity was suppressed. The gene is part of a system that affects the lifespan of cells.
The AMA says one out 100 Americans age 65 or older suffer heart failure every year.
The heart failure epidemic in the U.S. and in some other countries is partly due to the aging population, according to Dr Mariell Jessup, an AMA spokesperson. Dr Jessup is also a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.