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May 5, 1989

Infectious Diseases in the Elderly

JAMA. 1989;261(17):2559-2560. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420170105044

The graying of America is upon us with each decade bringing a greater proportion of Americans over the age of 65 years. As physicians who must care for this increasing population, we must become ever more cognizant of their special needs and problems. Infections are one such problem. They are more common in the elderly and they are more difficult to diagnose and manage— hence the need for this book.

Thirty-five authors, many of whom are recognized experts in the field, have contributed 24 chapters. The book is organized into three sections: "General Concepts," "Clinical Syndromes," and "Special Problems." The introductory chapters under "General Concepts" first strike what will become a recurrent theme in subsequent chapters: The elderly have an increased number of infections; unlike their occurrence in younger adults, the infections often present atypically; they are associated with a higher morbidity and mortality; and their management represents a special