Major changes in social welfare, economic conditions and medical knowledge over the last 60 years have pro-duced a demographic shift in the population. More individuals are living longer, and in a decade there will be more people over 65 than infants under 5 for the first time in history. Taking the analysis beyond mere numbers reveals that older indi-viduals are now physically more active than their forebears and travel more widely. This provides a greater opportunity for encountering infectious agents which could present a considerable problem. Older individuals are more susceptible to infection and do not respond as well as younger people to vaccination because of an age related decline in immunity, a state which has been termed immunosenesence. This decline is not uniform and some older individuals show a greater de-cline in their immune response than others. In this review we have sought to consider who are the 'at risk' individuals, how they might best be treated and when.
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- Healthy ageing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology