Spontaneous heart disease in the adult chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

A high incidence of heart disease, especially idiopathic cardio- myopathy (IC), is seen in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Methods We reviewed clinical records and necropsy reports of 87 adult chimpanzees for possible causes of heart disease/IC. We examined age, sex, cause of death, weight, diet, environment, infectious diseases, experimental uses and clinical pathology. Results The overall prevalence of heart disease in chimpanzees was 67.81%; the prevalence of IC was 51.72%. The prevalence of IC was signifi- cantly higher in males (60.32%) than that in females (29.17%, P = 0.009). The prevalence of other heart disease was higher in females (25%) than that in males (12.70%, P = 0.165). Heart failure occurred in 47.13% of chimpanzees. Heart disease was the primary cause of death in 34.49% of chimpanzees; 29.88% died of unknown causes. Conclusions We found no evidence that diet, environment, viral agents, experimental use or disease exposure contributed to the deaths resulting from IC in chimpanzees.
Ape, Arteriosclerosis, Atherosclerosis, Cardiomyopathy, Non-human primate
Seiler, B. M., Dick Jr, E. J., Guardado‐Mendoza, R., VandeBerg, J. L., Williams, J. T., Mubiru, J. N., & Hubbard, G. B. (2009). Spontaneous heart disease in the adult chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Journal of medical primatology, 38(1), 51-58. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0684.2008.00307.x