ERIC Number: ED114645
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Magnitude of Medical Problems of the Elderly in the United States.
Goldstein, Harold M.
L'Onpi (Rivista Mensile Dell 'Opera Nazionale Pensionati D'Italia), v2 n4 Apr 1973
Medical problems of older Americans are described, based on the types of illnesses and their frequency among the elderly. Those 65 years of age and older are defined as elderly, placing 20 million of the 203 million Americans in this category (1970 census). The major causes of chronic conditions in the elderly and the percent of those 65-74 years of age who are affected are stated as: heart disease (40 percent), rheumatoid arthritis (9 percent), and hypertension (38 percent). The findings of a study on degrees of activity limitation of the elderly are reported, indicating that, of those with a chronic condition, 85.6 percent have some degree of mobility. Tabulated statistics demonstrate that financial resources do not prevent contraction of a chronic disorder. The factors contributing to deficient quality of medical care are outlined, including unnecessary operations and drugs and failure of physicians to update their knowledge. The rising costs of medical care as a problem for the elderly and their high hospital utilization rate are discussed. The article concludes with some observations on possible ways to bring about needed improvement in health care for American elderly and other age groups. (MS)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA. Center for Medical Manpower Studies.