As we get old we may have several health isssues, which affect quality of life and life expectancy. Most of the times lifestyle and diet, along with inheritance, are common causative factors. According to reports, 90% of people will have at least a chronic disease. But what are the most common health conditions for a middle-aged person?
The incidence of diabetes has increased dramatically in recent years, becoming an epidemic. Diabetes can lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney failure even blindness. People with family history of diabetes and increased body weight should be careful of developing diabetes, in later life. Thus, adopt a normal body weight and a balanced nutrition.
According to reports, 2 out of 3 adults have high blood pressure. As we get old, vessels lose their elasticity, resulting in increased blood pressure. The main axis of prevention and treatment is to reduce sodium intake, to have a normal body weight and to systematically exercise.
Cardiovascular disease (CAD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Its main characteristic is atherosclerotic plaque inside the vessels and increased levels of blood lipids. Lifestyle and diet play a very important role in the pathophysiology of CAD.
Obesity is a disease, the frequency of which has almost tripled over the last decades, due to lifestyle. Obesity interferes in the pathophysiology of many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, hypertension and cancer.
Osteoarthritis is quite common condition among the elderly and especially knee osteoarthritis. Although we still do not know, the exact pathophysiology of arthritis is general, what we know is that osteoarthritis is a heritable disease. However, lifestyle, injuries in cartilages and joints as well as increased body weight seem to have a negative effect on its incidence.
Reduction of bone density is the main causative factor of osteoporosis. However, postmenopausal women are at higher risk, compared to men. Sufficient intake of calcium and vitamin D at all stages of life, as well as aerobic exercise, appear to help delay the onset of the disease.
Age and lifestyle are among the most common risk factors for cancer. According to reports, one-third of cancers could be prevented by adopting a healthy body weight, quitting smoking, exercise systematically and adopting a healthy and balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean diet.
Dementia is a common problem for people over 65. One out of ten will have Alzheimer's disease, a subtype of dementia. Some risk factors (like age and heredity) are uncontrollable. However, according to reports, maintaining normal levels of blood pressure, and glucose and a diet rich in antioxidants, might help.
Prevention is the best treatment, so shield your body with the right nutrients and integrate exercise into your life, for beautiful and healthy aging!