geriatrics

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geriatrics

(jĕrēă`trĭks), the branch of medicine concerned with conditions and diseases of the aged. Many disabilities in old age are caused by or related to the deterioration of the circulatory system (see arteriosclerosisarteriosclerosis
, general term for a condition characterized by thickening, hardening, and loss of elasticity of the walls of the blood vessels. These changes are frequently accompanied by accumulations inside the vessel walls of lipids, e.g.
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), e.g., mental deterioration and disturbances of motor and sensory function are often associated with an insufficient blood supply. Older persons are more prone to gastrointestinal disturbances, partly because of a reduced blood supply to the gastrointestinal tract and partly for other reasons, such as poor dentition. Changes in bone tissue, primarily osteoporosisosteoporosis
, disorder in which the normal replenishment of old bone tissue is severely disrupted, resulting in weakened bones and increased risk of fracture; osteopenia results when bone-mass loss is significant but not as severe as in osteoporosis.
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 in postmenopausal women, create susceptibility to fractures. There may also be diminished pulmonary function due to degenerative changes in the lungs. Elderly males may suffer from prostatic enlargement (see prostate glandprostate gland,
gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It is an organ about the size of a chestnut and consists of glandular and muscular tissue. It is situated below the neck of the bladder, encircling the urethra.
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), often accompanied by urinary obstruction. Obesityobesity,
condition resulting from excessive storage of fat in the body. Obesity is now usually defined using a formula known as the body mass index (BMI), in which weight (in kilograms) is divided by height (in meters) squared.
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, causing increased strain on the heart and blood vessels, is also a serious problem of the aged.

The exact cause of agingaging,
in biology, cumulative changes in an organism, organ, tissue, or cell leading to a decrease in functional capacity. In humans, aging is associated with degenerative changes in the skin, bones, heart, blood vessels, lungs, nerves, and other organs and tissues.
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 is unknown, but genetic factors are known to influence longevity. Moreover, it is believed that highly reactive substances called free radicals can cause cumulative damage to body cells and tissues, and that aging cells are more susceptible to malignant changes. These factors have made geriatrics an important specialty, particularly since the proportion of elderly persons in the population is increasing steadily. Geriatrics is one of the fields included in the general study of old age, or gerontology, which covers psychological, economic, and social factors as well. Both public and private institutions are spending large sums of money for research in geriatrics and gerontology.

Bibliography

See R. Andres et al., ed., Principles of Geriatric Medicine (1985); W. Cunningham and J. Brookbank, Gerontology (1987); L. Hayflick, How and Why We Age (1994); J. Carter, The Virtues of Aging (1998).

geriatrics

[‚jer·ē′a·triks]
(medicine)
The study of the biological and physical changes and the diseases of old age.

geriatrics

the branch of medical science concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting elderly people
www.asaging.org
References in periodicals archive ?
The geriatrician participates in the multidisciplinary meeting of digestive oncology and takes part in the multidisciplinary choice of the best treatment for elderly patients.
Geriatricians recommend ways to make the environment more secure, for example, adjusting the height of beds, installing anti-slip tiles if needed etc.
Geriatricians carry out home care visits and primary health care centres have dedicated clinics such as geriatric clinics, osteoporosis clinics, fall clinics, dementia and other such clinics specifically tailored for the elderly population.
Chinese Private Sector Conglomerate Funds One-Year Training in the US for Two Chinese Geriatricians Under the MMAAP Foundation's Irma and Paul Milstein Program for Senior Health
The panel turned up data showing that while the average general internist earned $175,000 per year in 2005, an internist or family physician who had been certified as a geriatrician earned $163,000 per year.
He will retire as consultant geriatrician in February 2005, but continues as associate postgraduate dean.
Kansas City hospitalist and geriatrician, Leonard Hock, DO, practices full time but earns $20,000 in additional annual income by giving speeches to church and physician groups, retirees, health care workers and health management executives.
Other speakers include Dr Jed Rowe, Consultant Geriatrician at Moseley Hall Hospital, who will argue that changes in society's attitude to older people have moved faster than planning.
The physical therapy program is planned via a team approach among physiatrist, staff geriatrician, and the physical therapist.
Stanley Birge, a geriatrician at the Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Rothman has been a practicing geriatrician with The Permanente Medical Group at the Kaiser-Permanente San Francisco Medical Center.
Dr Soha Abdelaziz, geriatrician at the DHA's primary care sector, said: "Approximately, 300 patients are registered under the home care programme.

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