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December 25, 1937


JAMA. 1937;109(26):2143-2144. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780520033011

Geriatrics is a term, inclining toward general adoption, for that division of medicine which deals with the treatment of the diseases and special problems of old age and senescence.1 Between 1900 and 1930, Horn2 says, there was an increase of 52 per cent in the actual numbers of those 60 years of age and over, compared with an increase of only 38 per cent in the total population. According to present trends, therefore, by 1990 the senescent population will have become equal to, if not in excess of, the preadolescent population. Furthermore, disease in old age differs in many ways from disease in younger groups; the incidence is different and the symptoms often diverge widely from those seen in middle and early life.

The diseases of old age which call for medical attention may be divided roughly into two types: those which also occur in younger years and

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