10 Common Conditions Affecting the Elderly

10 Common Conditions Affecting the Elderly

10 Common Conditions Affecting the Elderly

Introduction

Aging is an inevitable process. Definitely, with time, the body cells of a personage and their functionality diminishes. It is reported that human body cells grow only until the age of 30, after that age the human body stops developing. 

10 Common Conditions Affecting the Elderly

Here are some of the most common medical conditions that develop in old adults:

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas is not producing enough insulin. Insulin is an enzyme that lowers blood glucose concentration. The more common type of diabetes is diabetes type 2, which is about 90% of all diabetes conditions. In this type, the pancreatic cells are unable to make enough insulin so the blood glucose level increases. 

In this case, patients are advised to minimize their sugar intake and take commercially manufactured insulin. Astonishingly, 422 million people worldwide have diabetes and 1.5 million deaths, on average, are reported annually according to World Health Organization.

Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of joints. It affects about 10 million people annually.  The lubricating material present between the bones at joints i.e., the synovial fluid decreases with age. A lower quantity of synovial fluid causes severe pain, inflammation, and swelling at joints. There is no proper treatment of arthritis but the pain and swelling can be lowered by using pain killers, therapy, and rest. 

You can take the following steps to prevent arthritis:

  • Exercising daily
  • Keeping a check of your body weight
  • Avoid smoking

Here is an annual report of cases of arthritis in different parts of the world in 2019, another bar shows the expected cases of arthritis in 2029

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary Heart disease (CHD) is caused mainly by high levels of Cholesterol deposited in the body. The accumulation of cholesterol in the coronary arteries results in clogging of arteries which hinders blood supply to the cardiac tissues and may result in a heart attack. The causes of accumulation of cholesterol in the body include alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, genetic disorders, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Stroke

Stroke is a condition when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off. The ratio of older women suffering from stroke is slightly higher than in older men. A blocked blood vessel, which can be some fat accumulated, is the main cause of stroke. 

Dementia

Dementia, or more commonly known as ‘Short-term memory loss’ is a disorder that affects brain function and its ability to remember things. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Every 1 in 16 people above the age of 65 suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. People suffering from dementia have problems remembering recent events, communicating, or estimating distances.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is also a brain disorder that is due to the loss of nerve cells in the basal ganglia. In Parkinson’s disease, the part of the brain that produces dopamine stops working. This condition is characterized by tremors and shaking, inability to move limbs, and loss of body balance. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease but patients suffering from this condition are given drugs that boost dopamine production. 

Blindness

Our retinal cells also age with time, the ability to see a clear image diminishes with age. Age-related macular degeneration AMD is the leading cause of blindness at an older age. It blurs the central vision and in severe cases can cause blindness.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones due to a decrease in bone density. Females are more prone to this condition and may lead to bone fractures. According to recent reports by the International Osteoporosis Foundation, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men worldwide suffer from osteoporosis. 

Here is a graph of the annual percentage of cases of osteoporosis reported in different parts of the world:

Hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition that is characterized by both how much blood your heart pumps, as well as how much the arteries hinder the blood flow.

Hypertension itself is the cause of many diseases such as:

  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Kidney disorders
  • Sexual dysfunction

About 26% of the world’s population is suffering from this condition

Multiple Sclerosis

This is a neurological condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. People suffering from Multiple Sclerosis have constant fatigue, body balance problems, and blurred vision. Currently, there is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

Conclusion

Aging also depends from person to person and gender, depending on their diet, lifestyle, and other genetic factors. Many medical conditions are very common among the elderly and the numbers are increasing annually.

What are the common conditions affecting the elderly?

Diabetes
Arthritis
Heart Diseases & stroke
Chronic Pain
Metabolic Syndrome
Dementia
Parkinson’s disease
Hypertension