The 12 Most Common Diseases in the Elderly

The Most Common Diseases in the Elderly  that we should be aware of. In addition, with the arrival of old age, we start to worry about health in a more intense way. Any symptom is a reason to visit the doctor, because after all, some diseases occur more often in the elderly than in young people.

Heart attack : Heart  attack is one of the most common diseases in the elderly . Ischemic heart disease is a blockage (or, very rarely, a spasm) of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.

Stroke:  Another of the most common diseases in the elderly  is stroke. Cerebrovascular disease consists not only of stroke, but also of other less dramatic forms, which also impair the autonomy of the elderly.

Diabetes:  This is one of the most common diseases in the elderly. Besides, this disease needs no introduction, and I’ve written quite a bit about it. With the aging of the population, an increasing number of diabetics is expected.

Pulmonary Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis:  Pulmonary emphysema and chronic bronchitis are one of the most common diseases in the elderly.  Although lung disease is incurable, it is treatable and preventable. The condition occurs when inflammation in the airways, a thickening of the lining of the lungs, and an overproduction of mucus in the air tubes, leads to a significant reduction in airflow in and out of the lungs.

The most common symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, and a chronic cough . The disease is usually caused by prolonged exposure to airborne irritants, such as tobacco smoke (first and second hand), work-related contaminants, or industrial pollution. The biggest risk factor for getting the disease is smoking.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias:  This is another of the most common diseases in the elderly. In addition, it is not normal for the elderly to be gaga. I repeat: it is not normal. Forgetfulness can have causes other than dementia ; the most common is depression , but it can also be a disease in the body.

Hearing Loss: OK, that’s not really a disease, it’s a chronic condition. Some people actually lose their hearing with age, and hearing aids can go a long way toward helping people reintegrate into society. But sometimes the thing is simpler: ear clogged by wax. (Tip: don’t use a cotton swab inside your ear!)

Hypertensive Heart Disease: Have you noticed that hypertension has not appeared until now? If only the pressure was high, there would be no problem. But high blood pressure for years on end can cause a number of illnesses, making it one of the most common illnesses in the elderly ; we have already mentioned heart attack and stroke , but the heart muscle itself can get sick, causing hypertensive heart disease. In a more advanced degree, this turns into heart failure, that is, a swollen heart.

Pneumonia :  Pneumoniais one of the most common major diseases in the elderly. A lot of people don’t know, but the flu vaccine (swine or common) also prevents pneumonia ; this is one of the reasons the elderly receive it. There are other vaccines that could help, but I’d rather not discuss today whether or not it’s worth getting them. Another way to prevent pneumonia is to take care of other illnesses so the person doesn’t become bedridden or otherwise debilitated.

Cancer: One of the most common diseases in the elderly  is cancer that develops when abnormal cells grow at an uncontrollable rate, which is more likely to occur later in life. The American Cancer Association found that 77% of cancers are diagnosed in patients over the age of 55.

This disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. The most common cancers for older adults include: stomach cancer , non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder , prostate , colorectal , lung , skin , and breast cancer .

Arterial Hypertension:  Hypertension is one of the most common diseases in the elderly.  In addition, the natural loss of taste buds causes the elderly to naturally increase their salt intake during meals. Nutritionists and health plan doctors say that 3% of the elderly in the country suffer from the disease that can have a series of complications.

Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of rheumatism and one of the most common diseases in the elderly ; Popularly referred to as brittle bone disease, osteoporosis is characterized by a loss of bone mass, resulting in weaker and thinner bones. The condition becomes more likely due to age, particularly for white and Asian women.

Half of all women over the age of 50 and nearly a quarter of men the same age will one day break a bone due to osteoporosis . Hip fractures are a major concern for older adults because they lead to a loss of mobility and independence. About 25% of hip fractures lead to death within 12 months. To help prevent osteoporosis , try to maintain a diet rich in Vitamin D and Calcium . Also, avoid smoking and being around people who are smoking.

Cataract:  Another of the most common diseases in the elderly  is cataract . The human eye has a lens, called a crystalline, through which light passes to reach the retina. With age, the lens becomes less and less transparent, but surgical treatment should only be done if the cataract is bothering the person.

As in the previous lists, the numbers in parentheses represent the participation of the disease in the total burden of disease of the Brazilian elderly, measured in years of life lost, with an adjustment for the degree of disability of the patients who are alive, and taking into account the number of people affected.

Most of the diseases on the list can be prevented and/or postponed with a healthy lifestyle and proper treatments, but it is usually not possible to completely avoid the disease, and once a person has it, it is forever. In this context, it is important to privilege preventive, treatment and recovery actions that preserve the elderly person’s autonomy, that is, that allow the person to continue performing their activities without depending on the help of others.

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