Merck Manual

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Studying Aging

Studying Aging

Gerontology is the study of the aging process, including physical, mental, and social changes. The information is used to develop strategies and programs for improving the lives of older people. Some gerontologists have a medical degree and are also geriatricians.

Geriatrics is the branch of medicine that specializes in the care of older people, which often involves managing many disorders and problems at the same time. Geriatricians have studied the aging process so that they can better distinguish which changes result from aging itself and which indicate a disorder.

Although the older population of the United States is increasing, the number of geriatricians per 10,000 people over age 65 has decreased steadily since 2000.