Pain Management in Elderly Patients

  • Shamsuddin Akhtar
  • Roberto Rappa
  • M. Khurrum Ghori


The aging process leads to progressive physiological changes. Individuals are more vulnerable to injury at both extremes of age and are more adaptable when bodily injury occurs in adulthood. This chapter will emphasize the changes that one experiences with age. Chronological age refers to age according to birth date, whereas biological age is the estimated age based on the degree of physiological degeneration or loss of physiologic reserve (Lee 2003). Physiologic changes do not necessarily parallel that of chronological age. Furthermore, specific physiological processes may age at different rates in the same individual. In addition to normal physiologic changes that occur with aging, coexisting medical conditions are also more prevalent in the elderly. The normal physiological changes associated with aging are distinct from changes brought on by disease. The pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, neurologic, and cognitive changes in the elderly are affected as much by normal physiology as they are by disease.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Chronic Pain Obstructive Sleep Apnea Pain Threshold Total Body Water 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shamsuddin Akhtar
    • 1
  • Roberto Rappa
    • 2
  • M. Khurrum Ghori
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiologyVA Medical Center, Yale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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