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Ann Med. 2013 May;45(3):265-73. doi: 10.3109/07853890.2012.727022. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Geriatric syndromes--vascular disorders?

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Geriatric Clinic, University of Helsinki, and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. timo.strandberg@oulu.fi

Abstract

The term geriatric syndrome is used to characterize multifactorial clinical conditions among older people which are not subsumed readily into disease entities, but which nevertheless predispose older people to disability and death. Commonly included are frailty, dementia, delirium, incontinence, falls, and dizziness. Geriatric syndromes are common among older people: in a recent survey, 50% of those aged more than 65 had one or more of these conditions. Better methods for prevention and treatment are needed, but current strategies have lacked a coherent conceptual and diagnostic framework. Prevention and interventions need to be targeted at earlier ages, with geriatrics expertise needed in the definition and operationalization of these complex entities. In this review we consolidate evidence that vascular disorders, including vascular ageing and vascular diseases, are key etiological factors of geriatric syndromes. Identifying this vascular dimension would offer opportunities for more efficient preventive strategies and mandates earlier intervention, especially for women, among whom vascular disease is often expressed more insidiously than among men. This would entail a sensitization of the health care system to the systematic detection of the syndromes, which are currently underdiagnosed. Further disentangling of the mechanisms of vascular ageing may offer therapies for vascular diseases and geriatric syndromes alike.

PMID:
23072364
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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