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May 3, 1995

Geriatric Cardiology: Principles and Practice

Author Affiliations

College of Medicine New York, NY

JAMA. 1995;273(17):1393-1394. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520410089037

This is a comprehensive treatise emphasizing fundamentals of the aging heart. The authors, experts in the field, have adroitly used their experience and given detailed, meaningful information in 35 well-written and well-documented chapters. The basic problems of gerontology—that is, separating normal aging from abnormal or pathological aging and defining the facets of illness resulting from aging—are masterfully presented by Powell in chapter 2. Basically, evaluation of the older patient takes into account his birth certificate, which is not the best indicator for predicting morbidity and mortality. "Elderly people, so readily defined as the over 65's, are commonly regarded as a homogenous group. This is biological, psychological and sociological nonsense," writes Powell. His view raises the unsolved problem—who is old and what are the stages of old age? Such questions remain to be answered by painstaking extensive research.

Aging is a general term, not always related to the particular individual. Recent

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