As adults are living longer and longer in the U.S. today, there are some common concerns regarding chronic diseases, below is the list of the top 10, according to The Institute on Aging in Bethesda Maryland, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC),
1.Arthritis effects a whopping 48.7 percent of aging adults in our country. Although arthritis is a chronic disease that can be painful and debilitating, there are new and improved drugs and medical modalities that can help keep seniors with arthritis active long-term.
2.Heart disease is the number one fatal illness in the U.S. today, so it stands to reason that it’s on the list of top health concerns for seniors. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this condition results in over 488,000 deaths per year (2013 statistics), effecting as many as 37 percent of men over age 65 and up, and 26 percent of women 65 and older. A regular exercise routine (under the supervision of the physician) and well balanced heart healthy diet are 2 major modes of ammunition against the debilitating effects of heart disease in the aging population.
3.Cancer is the second leading cause of death in older adults (65 and up) next in line after heart disease. The CDC reports 28 percent of men and 21 percent of women over 65 have been diagnosed with cancer. Improving the quality of life for folks with cancer involves regular cancer screenings such as mammograms, colonoscopies and skin biopsies-for early detection and treatment. Many types of cancer are 100% treatable when diagnosed early enough. Of course eating a healthy diet, high in fiber and low in saturated fat is also key to cancer prevention as well.
4.Fourth on the list of the top 5 medical concerns for seniors is respiratory diseases such as COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This disease effects 10 percent of elderly men and 13 percent of women in the U.S. who live with chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Another big killer for seniors is pneumonia. Taking respiratory medications as prescribed, using oxygen as directed and of course avoiding smoking, are methods of improving the condition of life for older adults with respiratory condition.
5.Last on the list of the top 5 health concerns for older adults is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). According to the Alzheimer’s Association nearly 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. This includes an estimated 5.1 million people age 65 and older. Although cognitive impairment resulting from AD has a huge impact on a senior’s autonomy, safety and overall health, there is hope for new medication and studies that point to many nutritional and lifestyle changes that can help stave off symptoms of AD for as long as possible.
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