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This volume marks the first of a new series, Contemporary Geriatric Medicine, joining the ever growing "Contemporary" family. As with the other "Contem­ porary" volumes, our goal is to assist the reader in maintaining currency in a rapidly changing field. Perhaps no field has shown such major advances in such a short time as geriatrics. Over the last several years, the "demographic impera­ tive" has become a source of concern for many, including clinicians, scientists, econ­ omists, and health planners. Our geriatric knowledge base continues to grow, often making it difficult to keep abreast of advances and current therapeutic modalities. Contemporary Ger­ iatric Medicine presents the state-of-the-art thinking regarding a variety of topics all of major concern to the health practitioner caring for the elderly person. The authors, for the most part serving as members of a stable editorial board, have chosen topics that should have immediate interest to the readership. By having a stable editorial board, continuity is ensured in successive volumes. Every two years, a subsequent issue will either address new thoughts on already presented topics or focus on new topics of current interest. As with the other "Contempo­ rary" series volumes, the every other year interval is intended to allow new find­ ings to develop and be tested. It also provides the authors with time to provide the highest quality of work.

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