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Senior Health & Wellness | May 20, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

The Most Prevalent Diseases That Affect The Elderly

active-seniors-outsideAs we get older, our bodies become increasingly vulnerable to a number of different age-related issues. There are some diseases that the elderly suffer from most frequently. For many of these diseases, it is possible to drastically reduce the chances of developing these diseases by focusing on a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle. These are the most prevalent diseases that affect the elderly.


It is possible to avoid respiratory diseases like pneumonia by regularly having lung function tests. The most common symptoms of pneumonia include fatigue and chronic coughing. While younger patients often recover after a few days, the disease can be fatal for elderly patients. It can be a good idea to get the pneumonia vaccine.


There are 52.5 million Americans who live with some form of arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, followed by gout and rheumatoid arthritis. If older adults experience stiffness, swelling, or chronic joint pain, it is important to seek medical attention. There are diet changes, stretches, and exercises that can help reduce the risk of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the result of damaged airways. It is also a progressive condition, making it more and more difficult for patients to breathe as they continue with the disease. COPD kills an estimated 120,000 Americans each year. Because this is a progressive disease, it is important to be aware of symptoms such as chronic wheezing and coughing.


When looking at adults over 60, almost 25 percent of them have diabetes. Diabetes causes thousands of deaths each year, and it is a serious health threat to seniors. With proper blood tests, it is possible to easily identify diabetes. While it is impossible to avoid Type 1 diabetes (it is a hereditary disease), the majority of Americans with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Which you can prevent and control with a healthy lifestyle.

Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in Americans over the age of 65. The two largest risk factors for heart disease include high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The issue is that both of these are often not associated with any specific symptoms. This is why it is important that seniors undergo blood tests to ensure that they are not struggling with these issues. Staying active and eating a diet that is rich in lean meats, vegetables, and fruits is going to help reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease.