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USPSTF Identifies High Priority Evidence Gaps for Older Adults

Gaps include screening for cognitive impairment; physical, mental well-being; vision, hearing problems

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has produced their third annual report for Congress identifying high-priority evidence gaps specifically relating to the care of older adults.

Noting that, by 2040, one in five Americans will be older than 65 and one in 13 will be older than 85, Virginia Moyer, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues from the USPSTF reviewed the literature and identified gaps related to the care of older adults.

According to the report, the priorities for improving the health of older people via clinical preventive services include cognitive impairment and dementia screening; physical and mental well-being screening; prevention of falls and fractures; vision and hearing screening; and avoiding unintended harms of medical procedures and testing.

"Prevention serves an especially important role as people age," Task Force co-chair Albert Siu, M.D., M.S.P.H., said in a statement. "We hope that highlighting evidence gaps related to the care of older adults will help public and private researchers and research funders target their efforts so that together we will be able to improve preventive health and health care for all."

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