As we age, few topics are more important to any of us, our spouses, friends and neighbors than health. We live in an age where there is no dearth of information on this subject. Scarcely a magazine or news program goes without some new story on health. My intention is to put any new information within the greater perspective of our present knowledge, and over time to review with you all the normal changes that occur with age. It is no secret to any of us who climb out of bed each day that we aren't quite the same as we were some years ago. We might even be better! As we discuss normal aging, we will also cover some of the common diseases that we live with.
Emphasis will also be placed on both the role of prevention as well as the treatment of common problems. Explanations about why drug doses change over time and why physicians treat some patients differently than others will be discussed. I don't intend to spend too much space on health care delivery, but we are going through a revolutionary time in the provision of health care and it would be unwise not to comment on the changes, both good and bad, that we will inevitably all face.
These columns, which were originally published in the Seabrooker Newspaper, are designed to address matters of greatest concern to those over the age of fifty. There are several reasons for that.
First, I have concentrated in my practice and in my research on this age group. Secondly, many South Carolinians, including myself, fit comfortably in this demographic set. Third, I expect a lot of new information to come out as the medical profession, the National Institutes of Health, pharmaceutical companies, the Food and Drug Administration, Medicare, and many health research foundations increasingly focus on the health and welfare of older Americans.
Future columns will feature some aspect of health and disease plus carry an important new finding from the medical literature that you would benefit from knowing about. I welcome questions and comments, which can be e-mailed or faxed to me. It is, after all, important to address those issues that interest you- otherwise I may dwell too much on my own interests, which are heart, brain, and medicine concerns.
I'll end with a medical aphorism. During and ever since medical school, pediatricians have always said, "You know infants and children are not just little people." And today's rejoinder is, "And, elder citizens are not just older people." There is a lot we are learning about the healthy changes that come with age and that is precisely what I hope to bring to the Seabrooker.
We would like to especially thank the editor of the Seabrooker, Red Ballentine for allowing the opportunity to share these columns with those interested in healthy aging.
—Jerry Reves, M.D.
Joseph Gerald (Jerry) Reves, M.D., held the title of Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean, College of Medicine, at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Reves came to MUSC from Duke University where he served as professor and chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology for some 10 years.
During his career at Duke, which began in 1984, he also served as director of cardiothoracic anesthesia and director of the Duke Heart Center. Earlier in his career he was a member of the training staff at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and professor of anesthesiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
He is a native of Charleston and a 1969 MUSC graduate. Dr. Reves is internationally recognized in the field of cardiothoracic anesthesiology. While at Duke University, he built one the nation's pre-eminent departments of anesthesiology. Dr. Reves is a respected clinician, teacher, researcher and administrator.
Dr. Reves' primary research interests have included attempts to better understand the nature of the risks of cardiac surgery in elderly patients, with a focus on improving the outcomes of such surgery. Among Reves' notable clinical accomplishments, he provided anesthesia to the first heart transplant recipient at the Duke University Medical Center.
A fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the Royal College of Anesthetists, Reves serves on the Board of Trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society. He also served as president of the Association of University Anesthetists.
Author or editor of 13 books in the field of anesthesiology, Reves has held editorial positions for 12 professional publications in his field. He has numerous scientific publications, including more than 146 peer-reviewed articles, 74 book chapters, 65 editorials and letters, and 13 film and audiovisual presentations.
Reves has served on numerous university, state and national advisory committees, including the Food and Drug Administration Anesthetic and Life Support Drugs Advisory Committee, the American Heart Association's Executive Committee of the Council on Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery and the executive committee of the International Anesthesia Research Society.
Dr. Reves, received his BA degree from Vanderbilt University and postgraduate training at the University of Alabama Hospital and Clinics. Dr. Reves writes a monthly column in the Seabrooker newspaper which focuses on Healthy Aging. The articles on this site are from that column.