Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.
Dr. Albert Saitz, in the Medical Record, writes that,
owing to the atrophic changes of age, not only the weight but the
height of the body is diminished, the body as a whole being shorter and
lighter, while its individual parts are also lessened in size, with the
exception of the heart and kidneys. . . . Changes take place in the
skin, rendering it dry and wrinkled, the hair becomes thin and white,
the teeth drop out, the body bends. These changes induce a general
decrease in vigor; the power of the muscles is lessened; the combustion
going on in the body is diminished, as is shown by a decrease in the
amount of carbonic acid gas exhaled. The vital capacity of the lungs is
decreased, although there is a quickening of the respiratory rhythm.
The pulse-rate rises, the secretions are
diminished . . . Such, briefly stated, are some of the
characteristics of old age.
ATROPHIC CHANGES OF OLD AGE: THEIR PREVENTION.. JAMA. 1999;281(6):494. doi:10.1001/jama.281.6.494