Rethinking Aging: Growing Old and Living Well in an Overtreated Society

Rethinking Aging: Growing Old and Living Well in an Overtreated Society

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by Nortin M. Hadler
     
 

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Rethinking Aging: Growing Old and Living Well in an Overtreated Society

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
We now know exactly where we are at a "ripe old age"—about 85, and more of us are hitting that mark than ever before, notes Hadler, a professor of medicine at UNC–Chapel Hill (Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America). But it's all downhill and at a fairly quick clip after that. And here's where Hadler moves into myth-buster mode, arguing that it's not useful to hope that biotechnology will stave off the grim reaper. Better to live the old lives we reach by making smart decisions as we travel there, e.g., ignoring media hype about "the scare of the week, the miracle of the month," and be wary of road maps to impossibly golden years. Hadler cites controversial studies showing, for instance, that there is no obesity epidemic. He also cautions against the growing array of screening tests: unlike diagnostics that look for an existing problem, screening hunts for culprits that could create a future problem that may never materialize. With this thoughtful guide, Hadler urges better options for end-of-life care than a lonely, traumatic last stop at the hospital. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Well organized and detailed.--Burgs Sunday book review

Hadler advocates informed decision making pertaining to all stages of aging.--Library Journal

All Americans over the age of 45 as well as health care providers and political leaders should read this book. . . . Hadler provides useful insights into successful aging within the context of this challenging system. Highly recommended.--Choice

[Hadler has] provided his readers with valuable perspective that should make it easier for them to captain the ships of their own health.--The Carrboro Citizen

With passion and enthusiasm, Hadler offers a doctor's perspective that could prove useful for many people struggling to make better choices and increase wellness as they age.--ForeWord Reviews

With this thoughtful guide, Hadler urges better options for end-of-life care than a lonely, traumatic last stop at the hospital.--Publishers Weekly

Library Journal
Hadler (medicine & microbiology/immunology, Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America) decries the overmedicalization of aging, arguing that many natural conditions, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, have been redefined as diseases. This has led to unnecessary screening resulting in aggressive (and expensive) treatments that often do more harm than good. Reviewing epidemiological studies, he demonstrates that even simple interventions after age 60, such as lowering blood pressure through diet and drugs, do not significantly contribute to a longer, healthier life. Hadler advocates informed decision making pertaining to all stages of aging, cautioning that no procedure should be undertaken unless evidence clearly indicates outcomes will be beneficial. He also shows that racial, gender, and socioeconomic factors significantly affect longevity, a point also made by Susan Jacoby in her more readable Never Say Die. VERDICT Hadler's view of aging is cautionary; written in a technical style, it is an elaboration on and slight updating of topics covered in his previous works.—Lucille M. Boone, San Jose P.L., CA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807835067
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
09/12/2011
Edition description:
1
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
409,409
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
An unflinching and rational dissection of the anti-aging field from one of the most respected voices in the health care debate today. Like Atul Gawande and Jerome Groopman, Dr. Hadler's scalpel has an uncanny ability to separate facts from hype and make us reexamine every screening test and treatment we take for granted as effective.--P. Murali Doraiswamy, senior fellow, Duke Center for the Study of Aging, and coauthor, Living Well After An Alzheimer's Diagnosis

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