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Editorials |

Restricted Activity: Key Indicator of Decline or “Just Having a Bad Day”?

Edward R. Marcantonio, MD, SM
[+] Article and Author Information

Dr. Marcantonio: Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged; Boston, MA 02131


Requests for Single Reprints: Edward R. Marcantonio, MD, SM, Department of Medicine, Research and Training Institute, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged, 1200 Centre Street, Boston, MA 02131.


Ann Intern Med. 2001;135(5):374-376. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-135-5-200109040-00014
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As most older persons age, quality of life becomes increasingly important relative to quantity of life. The good news is that the average 65-year-old person will be functionally independent for the next 15 to 20 years of life (1). Disability is much more of a problem for persons 85 years of age or older; in this group, which is expanding most rapidly, almost 50% of people require assistance in basic activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, using the toilet, ambulation, and eating) (23). However, the transition from independence to dependence is highly heterogeneous. No age or set of medical conditions is pathognomonic for disability. As the population continues to age, we need a better understanding of what causes disability in older people so that we may develop more effective strategies to prevent decline.

Topics

gill ; disability ; elderly

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