April 1981

Medical Community and Government Address Issues of Old Age

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(5):567. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340050019004

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At least eight times as many people older than 65 years of age are alive today as at the turn of the century, according to the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md. In 1900, less than one person in 20 was older than 65 years, while today that figure is greater than one in ten. In another half century, the figure should double again to one in five.

Aging and Primary Care  These population trends have not been lost on primary care physicians. Greater numbers of internists, family physicians, and others (including allied health personnel) are directing more effort to this growing patient population. Although there is no formally recognized specialty of geriatrics in the United States, there is an ongoing debate whether there should be. In addition to the obvious age shift in our population with its attendant economic and political power, at least four other Washington-related

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