The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases rises with aging and is one of the main causes of mortality in western countries. In view of the progressively aging population, there is an urge for a better understanding of age-associated cardiovascular diseases and its underlying molecular mechanisms. The risk factors for cardiovascular diseases include unhealthy diet, diabetes, obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and aging. Increased production of oxygen-derived free radicals plays an important role in mediating cardiovascular diseases. Oxidative stress affects the availability and/or balance of key-regulators of vascular homeostasis and favors the development of cardiovascular diseases. Reactive oxygen species are generated by different intracellular molecular pathways principally located in the cytoplasm and in the mitochondria. The mitochondrial protein p66Shc and the deacetylase enzyme SIRT1 were shown to be involved in different aspects of cardiovascular diseases. This review focuses on the latest scientific advances in understanding cardiovascular diseases associated to aging, as well as delineating the possible therapeutic implications of p66Shc and SIRT 1 in this process.
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