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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 10, 1999


Author Affiliations

Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.

JAMA. 1999;281(6):494. doi:10.1001/jama.281.6.494

Dr. Albert Saitz, in the Medical Record, writes that, owing to the atrophic changes of age, not only the weight but the height of the body is diminished, the body as a whole being shorter and lighter, while its individual parts are also lessened in size, with the exception of the heart and kidneys. . . . Changes take place in the skin, rendering it dry and wrinkled, the hair becomes thin and white, the teeth drop out, the body bends. These changes induce a general decrease in vigor; the power of the muscles is lessened; the combustion going on in the body is diminished, as is shown by a decrease in the amount of carbonic acid gas exhaled. The vital capacity of the lungs is decreased, although there is a quickening of the respiratory rhythm. The pulse-rate rises, the secretions are diminished . . . Such, briefly stated, are some of the characteristics of old age.