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May 1985

Bacterial Meningitis in the Elderly

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(5):956-957. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360050226057

To the Editor.  —Because individuals older than 65 years now comprise 20% of our country's population of which the over 80 age group is the fastest growing segment, the article by Gorse et al1 is both pertinent and topical. As with other geriatric infections we need to determine whether incidence is increasing or whether the population shift accounts for the rising number of cases. Etiologies and the setting in which the disease occurs will need to be documented carefully if, as in other age groups, we are to select appropriate therapy while microbiologic studies are pending. It is anticipated that early therapy will continue to be mandatory for a condition in which delays lead to an unacceptable morbidity and mortality and are untenable. The study by Gorse et al is retrospective and suffers from problems inherent in all such endeavors. However, it seems clear from their morbidity and mortality

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