New Horizons for Geriatrics & Aging

I am always excited when a new edition of Geriatrics & Aging is coming to press, but this month I am particularly enthusiastic. Geriatrics & Aging now has a formal agreement with the Canadian Geriatrics Society (CGS) to publish its journal, the Journal of the Canadian Geriatrics Society. From the perspective of the team at G&A, this is a wonderful opportunity to further our educational mandate by having a journal that will appeal to specialists in the field. The possibilities of synergy, particularly in on-line educational programs, are unlimited. As a founding member of CGS, and having served multiple roles including executive member, secretary-treasurer, president, annual meeting program chair, and currently as chair of the education committee, I feel this will be a wonderful opportunity for the Society. Their research-oriented journal will benefit enormously from the committed and experienced publishing and editorial team at G&A, and their relationship with G&A will help them better fulfill their constitution’s mandate to improve care of older adults in Canada by providing continuing education. This new alignment has the potential to help doctors in Canada provide better care to their older patients.

My enthusiasm also extends to the focus of this issue. Our opening articles fall under the theme of endocrinology and metabolic issues such as obesity. When I started my practice in geriatrics, I thought that nutrition was one of those “soft” areas of endocrinology and metabolism, not of great interest to doctors. Modern medicine no longer believes that, and it seems that most complex geriatric cases have major nutritional issues. These issues span the entire spectrum of nutrition, from affording food, being able to shop and prepare food, the taste and textures of food, the amount eaten, the ability to chew, and the ability to swallow, just to name the most obvious.

The series begins with our CME article, concerning the “Diagnosis and Management of Hyperthyroidism in Older Adults” by Drs. Shakaib U. Rehman, Jan Basile, and Florence N. Hutchison. Geriatricians, internists, and family physicians often see older adults who have lost weight unintentionally. Karen L. Smith and Drs. Carol Greenwood, Helene Payette, and Shabbir M.H. Alibhai, who is G&A’s Senior Editor, address this common problem in their article “Unintentional Weight Loss among Older Adults: Diagnosis, Epidemiology, and Importance.” Even though weight loss is a common problem in an individual doctor’s office, from a public health perspective, obesity is even more dire. The article “Obesity among Older Adults” by Drs. Dennis Villareal and Krupa Shah addresses this important issue.

As well, we have numerous articles on other topics pertaining to the care of older adults. Our Cardiovascular column is contributed by Dr. Jagdish Butany, Gursharan S. Soor, Moyukh Chakrabarti, Iva Vukin, and Shaun W. Leong, who offer the first of a two-part article on “Prosthetic Heart Valves: Identification and Potential Complications.” At one time, most valvular lesions were caused by rheumatic fever and congenital abnormalities; today, degenerative age-related problems are a frequent cause of valvular disease. For our Dementia theme, Dr. Sudeep Gill provides an “Update on Delirium.” There has recently been growing attention to prevention and treatment of this life-threatening syndrome among older adults. Our column on Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders is authored by Dr. Clodagh Ryan, who provides us with an approach to “Chronic Cough in Older Adults.” Finally, Dr. Mary Beth Jennings and Frances Richert write about “Hearing Rehabilitation for Older Adults: An Update on Hearing Aids, Hearing Assistive Technologies, and Rehabilitation Services” for our Technology in Medicine column, which will be particularly helpful to me in my dealings with my mother, who has two hearing aids!

Enjoy this issue.
Barry Goldlist