This year geriatric medicine was characterized not by any watershed discoveries but rather by important efforts aimed at providing scientific evidence to support or refute many common treatment practices. Notably, investigators focused increasing attention on pertinent functional outcomes, usually to augment but occasionally to replace traditional measures of mortality and disease-specific events. A series of reports provided preliminary data on promising new strategies to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's disease.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke are among the leading causes of disability and death in older adults. Strategies to prevent, forestall, and treat these common disorders, although effective in younger adults, often have unproved benefit in older persons. A prospective study of 997 persons older than 70 years, for example, provided evidence to contest the association between blood cholesterol level and incidence of CHD or death due to CHD.1 Until the efficacy of lowering lipid levels is supported by
Gill TM, Tinetti ME. Geriatric Medicine. JAMA. 1995;273(21):1684-1686. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520450054027