Preventive medicine represents one of the most significant advances in healthcare over the last 40 years, with the ability to offer early detection and treatment of diseases before they become life-threatening. For people over the age of 65, being proactive in personal healthcare is essential. With annual screenings for certain health risks, people over the age of 65 have a significant chance of improving their quality of life and ability to live independently.
Understanding Your Risks
There are some core fundamental health issues faced by all adults over the age of 65. Understanding these risks increase with aging is essential. In most cases, through annual checkups, screenings as well as living a disease prevention lifestyle, people can significantly reduce the risk of these health issues becoming life-threatening.
Common Health Concerns and How to Reduce Your Risk
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the biggest health concerns for people as they age. Today, almost two-thirds of all adults have either high blood pressure or pre-hypertension, which is an elevated risk for high blood pressure.
While stress and diet play a significant role, there are other concerns. Genetics and a sedentary lifestyle can also cause high blood pressure. Getting an annual screening for high blood pressure is highly recommended.
This is the number one killer of adults over the age of 65. Presently, more than one in three men and one in four women over the age of 65 suffer from heart disease. Annual screenings for heart disease, high cholesterol and risk of stroke are a vital part of your healthcare plan. Through proper lifestyle and preventative medicine, you can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.
This is the second leading cause of death in adults over the age of 65. Annual screenings for cancer should be a part of preventative healthcare for all seniors. These include colonoscopies, skin cancer screenings, mammograms for women and prostate screening tests for men. If caught early life expectancy for most cancers dramatically increases.
In addition, keeping a healthy lifestyle is essential. This should include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and eating organic foods when possible, can have a positive impact on protecting against cancer.
Approximately one in four adults over the age of 65 has diabetes. Annual screenings as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet can reduce the risk for diabetes.
Today, approximately 54 million Americans suffer from Osteoporosis. Widely known as a concern for people as they age because of hormonal changes and a lack of sufficient calcium and magnesium minerals in the body. An annual DEXA bone density scan and taking bone-building supplements can significantly reduce the risk of fractures and back injuries.
Almost half of all adults over the age of 65 suffer from some level of arthritis. Leading an active lifestyle and a diet that is rich in Omega 3 can significantly help reduce the progressiveness of this ailment.
Lung function can be compromised more as people age. This is especially true for people who live in urban areas or people who have been smokers for many years. Quitting smoking, staying active and using a home air filtration system can help maintain better lung function.
Current and former smokers can be at high risk for lung cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screenings with a low-dose CT scan for people who have a history of heavy smoking, smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, and are between 55 and 80 years old.
Even for non-smokers, asthma and allergies pose a significant respiratory risk. Being alert to the symptoms is important. For people who suffer from allergies, taking regular allergy controllers can help reduce the risk of the onset of allergy-induced asthma.
Always Consult Your Primary Care Provider
The most basic and essential part of your preventive medicine plan should be an annual checkup with your primary care provider (PCP). Talk to your PCP about which of these screenings is appropriate for you.