Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSc
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M11-2776.
Requests for Single Reprints: Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSc, Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Staniford Street, Room 901B, Boston, MA 02114.
Iezzoni LI. Mobilizing to Address Increasing Population Disability. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156:160-161. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-156-2-201201170-00015
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(2):160-161.
As is frequently observed, growing old is not for the faint of heart. In a rigorous, albeit observational, longitudinal cohort study in this issue, Gill and colleagues (1) confirm 2 widely recognized “inconvenient truths” of aging: Losing the ability to walk even short distances and to drive cars is common toward the end of life, and these outcomes are strongly associated with being very old, having previous physical limitations, and being sick enough to require hospitalization. The authors write bravely about forestalling these eventualities; for example, by preventing strokes and heart attacks. Nonetheless, given the current state of medical science—and humanity's failure to find that elusive Fountain of Youth—it is hard to deny that most people will experience functional compromise at some point as they age. As noted by the Institute of Medicine in its 2007 report “The Future of Disability in America” (2), “disability affects today or will affect tomorrow the lives of most Americans.” Thinking globally, the 2011 World Report on Disability asserted that more than 1 billion people worldwide live with some form of disability (3); a disproportionate fraction of this disabled population is elderly.
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
Geriatric Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Healthcare Delivery and Policy, Prevention/Screening.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only