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Education And Debate

Recent Advances: Geriatric Medicine

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 02 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:561
  1. Rebecca D Elon, associate professor of medicinea
  1. a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Geriatrics Center, Baltimore, MD 21224-2780, USA


    Summary points

    • Exercise has protective effects: it is associated with decreased disability score and decreased rate of myocardial infarction; it is also effective in very old people

    • Multifactorial interventions decrease the likelihood of falls

    • Low body mass considerably increases the risk of hip fracture in older women; other risk factors include alcohol consumption, prior stroke, low activity levels, use of long acting benzodiazepines, large caffeine consumption, and visual impairment

    • Alendronate decreases vertebral fractures in older women and increases bone mass

    • Influenza vaccine is efficacious and cost effective

    • Though the apolipoprotein E4 allele is associated with Alzheimer's disease, a preventive strategy for Alzheimer's disease remains a distant goal

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