The history of the geriatrics and gerontology in Hungary – the HAGG
The importance of health issues related to aging and older people was recognized as science in Hungary in the early 20th century. Four scientists did efficient pioneering work for the development of gerontology and geriatrics in the country: prof. Sándor Korányi (physician and nephrologist), Frigyes Verzár (physiology), and professors László Haranghy and Edit Beregi on the field of pathology. The first Congress on Gerontology was organized in 1937. Coordination and support for research on gerontology started when the Committee of Gerontology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was set up, with prof. Haranghy in the chair. The Committee regularly organized scientific meetings and CME courses on gerontology. In 1958 the Gerontological Section of the Hungarian Biological Association was founded. It was led by László Haranghy. In 1956 Hungary became a member of IAG and one decade later the Hungarian Association of Gerontology (HAG) was established. From the late sixties the scientific activity on the medical, clinical and sociological fields of gerontology gradually increased. The team of the contemporary Hungarian Research Institute on Gerontology played important role in this development.
The significant international activity of the Hungarian Association of Gerontology and mainly that of prof. Edit Beregi was recognized by the fact, that the XVth World Congress on Gerontology was held in Budapest, in 1993. This really successful congress was attended by nearly 5000 participants.
The National College of Geriatrics/Gerontology as a periodically renewed advisory board of the Minister of Health has been operating since 1988. Geriatric medicine as a primary medical speciality has been recognized since 2000. The minimum criteria for geriatric departments have been defined in the early years of this century by the health authorities.
Membership of HAGG (paying members): 70. It has decreased in the last years. The majority of members is geriatrician working in hospital or university departments, or in Nursing Homes but there are also nurses and physiotherapists in the HAGG. There is only one special section in the society, the “Nursing Homes Section”. Information to the members: mainly by e-mails and attachments. The technical background for videoconferences is available via the geriatric/gerontological departments of the four universities. The chair of geriatrics at the Semmelweis University has an up-to-date technical basis also for high-level international videoconferences.
Dominant part of the Hungarian health care system is organized and supervised by the government and funded by the National Health Fund. The geriatric departments also operate in this framework. The real private sector has a small segment of health care system, the majority of them are outpatient clinics. In the case of elderly people, a significant part of nursing homes are private institutions. However, even these private nursing homes can get some partial financial support from the National Health Fund because solution of the domestic problems of elder patients and their long-term care by government-funded institutions is relatively insufficient and only few patients have additional insurances. In 2011 the National College of Geriatrics and Chronic Care together with the HAGG initiated at the health authorities that „active” geriatric departments should be established (in the universities and in every major regions of the country) in addition to the already existing departments for chronic care and rehabilitation. The proposals supported also by the Council of Aging and the Parliament’s Health Committee (mediated efficiently by former HAGG president dr. Laszlo Ivan MP) has been accepted by the health authorities and this process has started in 2012, first in the universities.
The first Hungarian university textbook of Geriatrics (ed. Székács B., 485 pages, 18 sections, 75 chapters) was published in 2005. In 2011 professors B. Székács and I. Kiss from the Semmelweis University initiated a case-based online interactive geriatric teaching and self assessing program (with case presentations and basic knowledge blocks), targeting first of all the geriatric residents. This e-program has been successfully completed and finalized by the leading experts of the four geriatric (gerontological) university departments in 2012.
In the last decade a great number of scientific and educational papers related to the gerontology and geriatrics has been published in Hungarian or international scientific journals mainly on the following topics:
- Marosi K, Bori Z, Hart N,Sárga L, Koltai E, Radák Z,NyakasC. Long-term exercise treatment reduces oxidative stress in the hippocampus of aging rats. Neuroscience. 2012 Dec 13;226:21-8.
- Balaskó M, Rostás I, Füredi N, Mikó A, Tenk J, Cséplő P, Koncsecskó-Gáspár M, Soós S, Székely M, Pétervári E. Age and nutritional state influence the effects of cholecystokinin on energy balance. Exp Gerontol. 2013 Nov;48(11):1180-8.
- Kovács G, Kaló Z, Jahnz-Rozyk K, Kyncl J, Csohan A, Pistol A, Leleka M, Kipshakbaev R, Durand L, Macabeo B. Medical and economic burden of influenza in the elderly population in central and eastern European countries. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 Oct 28;10(2).[Epub ahead of print]
- Vamos Z, Cseplo P, Ivic I, Matics R, Hamar J, Koller A. Age Determines the Magnitudes of Angiotensin II-Induced Contractions, mRNA, and Protein Expression of Angiotensin Type 1 Receptors in Rat Carotid Arteries. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Sep 7.[Epub ahead of print]
- Wappler EA, Antal P, Várbíró S, Székács B, Simon A, Nagy Z, Monos E, Nádasy GL.
- Szekacs B, Vajo Z, Acs N, Hada P, Csuzi L, Bezeredi J, Magyar Z, Brinton EA.: Hormone replacement therapy reduces mean 24-hour blood pressure and its variability in postmenopausal women with treated hypertension. Menopause. 2000 Jan-Feb;7(1):31-5.
- Semsei I. On the nature of aging. Mech Ageing Dev. 2000 Aug 15;117(1-3):93-108.
- Békési G, Kakucs R, Sándor J, Sárváry E, Kocsis I, Sprintz D, Várbíró S, Magyar Z, Hrabák A, Fehér J, Székács B. Plasma concentration of myeloperoxidase enzyme in pre- and post-climacterial people: related superoxide anion generation. Exp Gerontol. 2001 Dec;37(1):137-48.
- Simkó GI, Gyurkó D, Veres DV, Nánási T,CsermelyP. Network strategies to understand theagingprocess and help age-related drug design. Genome Med. 2009 Sep 28;1(9):90.
- Szekanecz Z, Szekanecz E, Bakó G, Shoenfeld Y. Malignancies in autoimmune rheumatic diseases - a mini-review. Gerontology. 2011;57(1):3-10.
Network remodeling of intramural coronary resistance arteries in the aged rat: a statistical analysis of geometry. Mech Ageing Dev. 2013 Jul-Aug;134(7-8):307-13.