Key Concepts

O Population aging is an incontrovertible trend.

^^ Older Americans use considerably more health care services than younger Americans, and their health care needs are often complex.

All four components of pharmacokinetics—absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion—are affected by aging, the most clinically important and consistent being the reduction of renal elimination of drugs.

In general, the pharmacodynamic changes that occur in the elderly tend to increase their sensitivity to drug effects.

O Comorbidities and polypharmacy complicate elderly health status, particularly when polypharmacy includes inappropriate medications that lead to drug-related problems.

Elderly patients are at greater risk for medication nonadherence due to high pre valence of multiple comorbidities and polypharmacy use leading to complex regi mens.

O1 The clinical approach to assessing older adults frequently goes beyond a tradi tional "history and physical" used in general internal medicine practice.

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