aging health

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Should frailty status always be considered when treating the elderly patient?
by Olga Theou and Kenneth Rockwood
June 2012


Not all people age the same way. Some people remain healthy until very old age, whereas others have health problems as they age and die early. Many healthy older adults are refused treatment because of their age, whereas many frail older adults who are treated do not survive. Decisions for clinical treatment based primarily on age are not best suited to the complexity of the human body, especially the complexity of older humans. The evaluation of a patient’s frailty status appears to represent a better way to approach the care and treatment of complex older patients, but more research is needed before the precise benefit realized by screening for frailty is known.


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