It is important to differentiate normal aging from a disease process in the elderly. Normal aging must not be equated with "no treatment required." Conversely, all disease processes in the elderly must not mean "treatment required." The decision to treat elderly patients should be made on an individual basis and must be considered in relation to age, quality of life, benefit-risk ratio, presence or absence of symptoms, and the multiplicity of diseases in each patient.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elderly individuals often present with altered signs and symptoms to infectious diseases. Altered signs and symptoms may result from underlying illnesses, physiological changes of the elderly, or chemotherapy. Increased awareness of the occurrence of altered signs and symptoms can facilitate determining the medical diagnosis and treatment of the elderly.
Journal of the National Medical Association 12/1993; 85(11):835-40. · 0.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of causes of death in autopsied older people are not common in Brazil. The aims were to compare demographic data and causes of death in elderly people autopsied in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s and to relate causes of death to age, sex, color, and body mass index. Data survey of the autopsy reports came from the Hospital de Clínicas of the Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro, Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The data were obtained from the autopsied individuals 60 years or older. Median age was 69 years (60-120 years) and was higher in the 1990s than in the 1970s (70.5 vs 68.0, P < .05) and higher in women (70 vs 68 years, P < .05). Men (66.8%) and white people (70.0%) predominated during the period. The most frequent causes of death were cardiovascular (42%) and infectious (33.4%). The percentage of cardiovascular causes of death varied little over the 1970s (41.7%), 1980s (42.3%), and 1990s (42.9%), whereas that of infectious causes decreased (38.0%, 28.6%, and 28.6%, respectively) and that of neoplastic causes increased (10.3%, 12.6%, and 19.6%, respectively, P > .05). Most of the elderly (84.6%) presented a body mass index of less than 22 kg/m2 and malnutrition predominated in the 1980s (48%). Therefore, there was little percentage variation in cardiovascular-related deaths over the 3 decades while the percentage of neoplastic-related deaths increased. Infectious causes of death was associated with the lowest body mass index, and the greatest percentage of cardiovascular and neoplastic-related deaths were in women.
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