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
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Emphasis was laid also on means to broaden scope of Mediterranean co-operation in matters of geriatrics which so far covers Egypt, Palestine and Romania.
* The ONS Web Site Geriatrics Clinical Resource Area (www.ons.org/ClinicalResources/SpecialPopulations/Geriatrics) is your gateway to information on geriatrics.
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Appointed chief of the division of geriatric medicine within the hospital's department of medicine, Feiner will also be actively involved in the geriatrics component of South Nassau's new internal medicine residency program, which begins next July.
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Knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited by Mary Gardner (Hospice Veterinarian, Co-Founder, and Chief Technology Officer at Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice in Orange County, California, USA and Courtesy Lecturer at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, Florida, USA) and Dani McVety (Hospice Veterinarian, Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer at Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice in Tampa, Florida, USA and Courtesy Lecturer at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, Florida, USA), "Treatment and Care of the Geriatric Veterinary Patient" is a comprehensive textbook that offers both student veterinarians and practicing professionals with a complete guide to treating and managing geriatric canine and feline patients.

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