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 ?
* Involvement of geriatricians in local diabetes service advisory groups is essential to achieve well organized cost-effective care for elderly diabetic patients.
The practising geriatrician, working within a multi-disciplinary environment, already has available many of the skills and resources required to confront abuse of elderly people.
While there's a lot of controversy surrounding sodium, geriatricians place a lot of value in salt as it is associated with conditions many older people experience, such as high blood pressure, swelling and heart failure.
Dr Mona Sobhy, geriatrician at DHA primary healthcare sector, said: "In addition to exercise, how much we rest, how well we sleep and what we eat are all factors that will decide the future of our health and how we age.
Susan Mitchell, a geriatrician and director of palliative care research at the Institute for Aging Research, Boston.
Randall, a geriatrician with Summit ElderCare and consultant to NaviCare, a coordinated care insurance plan for people older than 65 that is offered by the Fallon Community Health Plan.
The guest speaker for the meeting was Dr Pratap Rana, a consultant geriatrician at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Given that rate, the Elderly Care and Rehabilitation Centre marks the beginning of future developments to safeguard the interests of older people, said Dr Salwa Al Suwaidi, geriatrician at Rashid Hospital and in charge of the project.
But Nigel Beckett, a geriatrician at Imperial College London, shows this perception may be wrong.
The "American Journal of Nursing" Book of the Year in Consumer Health, What Are Old People For?: How Elders Will Save the World is an optimistic view of how the senior generation will change the world for the better by geriatrician William H.
(1) Because of the large number of cases of cancer in elderly patients, which patients should be assessed by a geriatrician? (2) What is the real benefit of geriatric evaluation in terms of quality of life, in particular the ability to spare undue toxicity of treatment?
Rosenbluth points out that just as a child would see a pediatrician for medical care, an older patient should go to a geriatrician. Dr.

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