As people age, they must become more vigilant about the health concerns that lead to increased risk for disease. Diet, exercise level, regular examinations and managing stress can all help to reduce the risk for the five health problems that are known to be associated with increasing age.
Diabetes is a metabolic problem that develops when the body does not produce sufficient insulin or is unable to utilize insulin effectively. Insulin is critical for metabolizing the sugars that are created in the body from consuming certain foods. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine find that aging causes reduced activity in muscle mitochondria. This, in turn, causes greater insulin resistance that leads to Type-2 diabetes. Diabetes can be a factor in heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, so careful attention to blood sugar levels is critical to an aging person’s health.
High Blood Pressure
The risk of high blood pressure also increases as people age. This effect is thought to occur because of structural changes in the arteries. High blood pressure is not only associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke It has also been linked with a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers. Keeping your blood pressure in control is an important way to stay healthy.
Obesity is a major health problem in the United States and around the world. In research studies, obesity has been linked to a variety of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and joint problems. Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are major causes of obesity. Older people may not pay attention to healthy eating and may not get the amount of exercise they need to control their weight and protect their health. If you are overweight and wish to reduce your health risk, talk to your doctor about a proper diet for your needs.
Older people are at greater risk for heart disease because of their increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. The natural changes in structures in the blood vessels that occur with aging also put older people at higher risk for heart problems. A good diet, daily exercise and regular visits to your doctor can help to maintain your heart health.
Getting older also means an increased risk of developing certain eye diseases. Glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and retinal detachment are serious problems that can affect vision and may even cause blindness. To protect yourself from age-related eye diseases, visit your optometrist annually for a full vision check-up.