THE AGING trend in the population of the United States is well documented in Bureau of the Census reports. In 1900, 3.1 million people, 4.1% of the population of the United States, were 65 or above.1 By 1960, this had risen to 16.7 million (9.2%). In 1965, 18.1 million (9.3%) were estimated to be 65 or over.2 Although the rate of increase is expected to diminish, by 1980 it is estimated that 23.1 million (9.2%) people will be age 65 or above.2,3 This is a substantial number of older citizens.
Public Health Service statistics4 indicate 11.5% of patients discharged from hospitals in the United States from 1958 to 1960 were age 65 and above. With Medicare this figure may well rise sharply. During calendar year 1965, 34.3% (figure supplied by Registrar Division, Central Office, Veterans Administration, Washington, DC) of patients discharged from all hospitals of the
Cogbill CL. Operation in the AgedMortality Related to Concurrent Disease, Duration of Anesthesia, and Elective or Emergency Operation. Arch Surg. 1967;94(2):202-205. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330080040013