Aging and Infectious Diseases in the Developing World

Gaƫtan Gavazzi; Herrmann, Francois; Krause, Karl-Heinz
July 2004
Clinical Infectious Diseases;7/1/2004, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p83
Academic Journal
Although demographic aging does not remain restricted to industrialized countries, the medical challenge arising from the aging population will be distinct in the developing world. This is particularly true with respect to infectious diseases, which have a distinct spectrum in the elderly population, as well as a greater overall relevance in the developing world. Tropical diseases have a specific presentation and epidemiology in elderly patients. Infectious diseases with a worldwide distribution impact elderly patients in the developing world in a specific manner, which is most obvious with respect to human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis but is also true with respect to "trivial" manifestations of infection, such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Malnutrition contributes in a major way to the immunodeficiency of elderly patients in the developing world. Poorly controlled use of antimicrobial drugs leads to multidrug-resistant microorganisms, which, together with the limited resources available for drug treatment, makes appropriate treatment of infections in elderly patients in developing countries very difficult. Infections in elderly patients will have an increasing impact on the public health and economy of developing countries.


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