Behavior, Health, and Aging

Behavior, Health, and Aging

Behavior, Health, and Aging

Behavior, Health, and Aging

Synopsis

A dramatic shift in the average age of the U.S. population and the increasing number of elderly Americans has introduced new and challenging healthcare dilemmas. This book addresses these issues with contributed chapters by the leading authorities in the field of behavioral medicine. It deals with health and healthcare needs of the elderly by considering basic changes that result from aging and some of the more specific problems that accompany it. Content highlights include a review of the basic tenets of genetics and molecular biology including some of the methods of looking at heritable differences in health and well-being. Quality of life concerns are addressed, including the differences between men and women, as well as other gender issues. Several chapters deal with the effects of aging on immunity. The latter part of the book emphasizes the psychosocial implications of aging on cardiovascular disease. Chronic illness among the elderly is also addressed.

Excerpt

Millennial events are peculiar for many reasons, particularly when they occur in the context of the millions of years that preceded recorded time- keeping and history. They tend to focus attention on long-anticipated outcomes as a fitting conclusion to 1,000-year epochs (this occurs at the end of centuries and decades too, but to a lesser extent) and on the changes that the next epoch promises. They are useful as a way of focusing attention on changes that occur independent of changes in the calendar, taking advantage of the heightened focus on summarizing where we've been and where we are going. So, as a rubric for summarizing changes that may come to dominate our lives in the first 50 to 100 years of the new millennium, they serve a useful purpose. One of the most important changes characterizing the new era is the changing nature of our population and its health care demands. Most prominently, our population is aging as people live longer and remain active longer into their lives. As the population ages it becomes more diverse and our knowledge and priorities must change as well. This book deals with aging in the context of health and health care needs. It considers basic changes that accompany aging and some of the more specific problems that accompany it. Several issues are predominant. Genetics has assumed increasing importance, both in terms of the genomic instability we associate with advancing age and in terms of expression of heritable predispositions and exhibition of predictable behaviors or disorders. Maclearn and Heller review basic tenets of this evolving field, including some of the methods of looking at heritable differences in health and well-being and some consideration of the implications of discovering genes or polymorphisms that appear to be . . .

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