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 Aged: Mortality 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
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