Features  |   November 2014
The Aging Anesthesiologist
Article Information
Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Pediatric Anesthesia / Pharmacology / Practice Management / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Quality Improvement / Features
Features   |   November 2014
The Aging Anesthesiologist
ASA Monitor 11 2014, Vol.78, 12-13.
ASA Monitor 11 2014, Vol.78, 12-13.
“And All the Days of Methuselah Were Nine Hundred Sixty and Nine Years.”
– Genesis 5:27
All living organisms age. Aging in humans is a multidimensional process involving physical, psychological and social change. Aging results in growth and improvement of some abilities, such as experience and wisdom, and decline of others, such as reaction time.
Physiology of Aging: Theories of aging fall into two broad categories, with a great deal of crossover between the two. Programmed theories hold that aging follows a biological timetable that is a continuation of the one that regulates childhood growth and development. Damage or error theories emphasize environmental assaults to an organism that gradually result in degenerative changes in the structure and function of cells and tissues. Approximately 25 percent of the effects of aging on human biologic processes are genetically determined. Lifestyle choices and environmental factors account for the remainder.
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