As we age, few topics are more important to any of us, our spouses, friends and neighbors than health. We live in an age where there is no dearth of information on this subject. Scarcely a magazine or news program goes without some new story on health. My intention is to put any new information within the greater perspective of our present knowledge, and over time to review with you all the normal changes that occur with age. It is no secret to any of us who climb out of bed each day that we aren't quite the same as we were some years ago. We might even be better! As we discuss normal aging, we will also cover some of the common diseases that we live with.
Emphasis will also be placed on both the role of prevention as well as the treatment of common problems. Explanations about why drug doses change over time and why physicians treat some patients differently than others will be discussed. I don't intend to spend too much space on health care delivery, but we are going through a revolutionary time in the provision of health care and it would be unwise not to comment on the changes, both good and bad, that we will inevitably all face.
First, I have concentrated in my practice and in my research on this age group. Secondly, many South Carolinans, including myself, fit comfortably in this demographic set. Third, I expect a lot of new information to come out as the medical profession, the National Institutes of Health, pharmaceutical companies, the Food and Drug Administration, Medicare, and many health research foundations increasingly focus on the health and welfare of older Americans.
Future columns will feature some aspect of health and disease plus carry an important new finding from the medical literature that you would benefit from knowing about. I welcome questions and comments, which can be e-mailed or faxed to me. It is, after all, important to address those issues that interest you- otherwise I may dwell too much on my own interests, which are heart, brain, and medicine concerns.
We would like to especially thank the editor of the Seabrooker, Red Ballentine for allowing the opportunity to share these columns with those interested in healthy aging.