An increased morbidity and mortality due to infectious disease has been noted in the ageing. Two alternative explanations may account for this. Changes in the immune system and inflammatory responses with age or an increase in age-related diseases may underlie the increased susceptibility. A review of studies of healthy older individuals demonstrates changes in the immune system with ageing but minimal change in the inflammatory response. Investigations of severe infection in older nursing-home patients requiring hospitalization indicate that infection as a cause of admission and death is significantly more common in individuals who are bedridden because of serious cardiovascular or neurological disease and require urinary catheterization. The evidence indicates that underlying disease, not the senescence of host resistance, leads to severe infection in the ageing.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Ciba Foundation symposium|
|State||Published - 1988|
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