December 8, 1956


Author Affiliations

Chief, Clinical Studies Division Research and Education Veterans Administration Central Office Washington 25, D. C.

JAMA. 1956;162(15):1414. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970320062019

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To the Editor:—  The term geriatric research must be better defined or dropped entirely. At present it includes research done in anatomic or pathological categories (myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, cancer) solely on an age basis. There is rationale for this, since each of the categories included is accentuated in the later years of life in severity and prevalence. However, none of the categories is limited to this period of life and so should not be included comprehensively in geriatric research.In pediatric research it may be possible to find the counterparts of geriatric research. Growth and development clearly belong here. On the gerontologic side of the picture, normal alterations of function that begin at the close of the mature phase, that are attributable only to age, and that are strictly retrogressive (loss of physical agility and muscle tone, bone hardness) would be comparable.In childhood, liver, spleen, kidney, lungs, bones, blood,

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