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Definitions, social trends, and epidemiology 

Definitions, social trends, and epidemiology
Chapter:
Definitions, social trends, and epidemiology
Author(s):

Chris Dodds

, Chandra M. Kumar

, and Frédérique Servin

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198735571.003.0001
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date: 12 November 2019

The impact of the ageing population across the world is reviewed. Aging, migration, and dependency are discussed, as is the likely cost, both social and financial, in providing care to dependent elderly patients. Dependency ratios and population pyramids are used to illustrate the scale and variation of the population changes. Advances in surgical and anaesthetic practice and their effects on day-care surgery are outlined. The utility of risk indices and prehabilitation in optimizing the elderly surgical patient is explored. The political and social dimensions of providing high-quality care to an increasingly old population are discussed. The financial pressures and the increasing complexity and expense of newer therapies are challenging, and comprehensive state-funded delivery currently appears unsustainable. Finally, the impact of the changes in the expectations of the ‘baby boomers’ generation, as they age, and in relation to their increasing use of the Internet and social media, are reviewed.

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