Most Common Health Problems After Age 60, Say Doctors — Eat This Not That

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By Ghuman

Introduction

As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to certain health problems. After age 60, doctors say the most common health problems are related to diet, lifestyle, and chronic conditions. Eating the right foods and making healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce the risk of developing these health problems. Eating This Not That is a great resource for finding healthy food options and learning about the best lifestyle choices for seniors. This article will provide an overview of the most common health problems after age 60, according to doctors, and offer tips on how to reduce the risk of developing them.

Most Common Health Problems After Age 60, Say Doctors — Eat This Not That

As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to a variety of health problems. After age 60, doctors say that the most common health issues are heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. While these conditions can be serious, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and it is especially common among those over the age of 60. To reduce your risk of heart disease, it is important to eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help keep your heart healthy. Additionally, regular exercise and avoiding smoking can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Stroke

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is especially common among those over the age of 60. To reduce your risk of stroke, it is important to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Eating a diet that is low in sodium and high in potassium can help keep your blood pressure in check. Additionally, regular exercise and avoiding smoking can help reduce your risk of stroke.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to a variety of health problems. To reduce your risk of diabetes, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. Eating a diet that is low in sugar and high in fiber can help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Additionally, regular exercise and avoiding smoking can help reduce your risk of diabetes.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition that can cause pain and stiffness in the joints. To reduce your risk of arthritis, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. Eating a diet that is low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your joints healthy. Additionally, regular exercise and avoiding smoking can help reduce your risk of arthritis.

Cancer

Cancer is a serious condition that can lead to a variety of health problems. To reduce your risk of cancer, it is important to eat a healthy diet that is low in processed foods and high in fruits and vegetables. Eating plenty of fiber and avoiding smoking can help reduce your risk of cancer. Additionally, regular exercise and avoiding excessive sun exposure can help reduce your risk of cancer.

Eat This Not That

Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems after age 60. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help keep your heart healthy. Additionally, eating a diet that is low in sugar and sodium and high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check. Finally, avoiding processed foods and smoking can help reduce your risk of cancer.

Chronic disease isn’t an inevitable part of getting older, but it’s all too common. According to the National Council on Aging, eighty percent of adults over retirement age have one chronic health condition, and 68% have more than one. These are the five most common health conditions adults older than 65 on Medicare were treated for. Here’s what you need to know about them, how to treat them—and how to avoid them, if at all possible. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.

Woman checking blood sugar level while sitting on bench
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According to the NCOA, 27% of older adults are treated for diabetes. Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum described diabetes as a “silent epidemic,” noting that it killed three times as many people as COVID in 2020. In diabetes, the body becomes unable to process blood sugar and transport it to the body’s cells for energy. Chronically elevated blood sugar levels can damage the linings of blood vessels, leading to heart disease, stroke, and blindness. Experts predict that one in 10 people of all age groups will have diabetes by the year 2045. To avoid it: Eat less added sugar and processed foods; substitute plenty of fruits and vegetables instead. Exercise regularly. And keep your weight in a healthy range. 

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Grey haired man touching chest, feeling pain at home, mature woman supporting him.
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Twenty-nine percent of older people were treated for ischemic heart disease, in which plaque builds up on the walls of arteries, narrowing them and increasing the chances of heart attack or stroke. According to the American Heart Association, to prevent heart disease at any age, eat a healthy diet, get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, and know the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke. After age 60, keep your weight down and ask your doctor for an ankle-brachial index test, which can detect the buildup of plaque in arteries in the legs.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Stop From Becoming Obese, Say Doctors

Old woman stretching numb arm, weakness of muscles in senior age, arthritis
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Nearly a third of older adults suffer from the joint pain and swelling caused by arthritis. According to the CDC, getting regular exercise can help (low-impact exercise such as walking and swimming are best), as can maintaining a healthy weight—excess weight can put added pressure on joints. And if you’re still using tobacco, stop.

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high cholesterol
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Nearly half of older adults have high cholesterol, a buildup of fats in the blood that can cause clogs in the arteries, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Experts advise getting your cholesterol checked every five years, but older adults may need it done more frequently. Your total cholesterol level should be less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), with an LDL (“bad cholesterol”) of less than 100 mg/dL and an HDL (“good cholesterol”) level of 60 mg/dL or higher. To keep your levels healthy, eat a diet low in saturated fat and trans fats, exercise most days of the week, and keep your weight in an ideal range. If your bad cholesterol is high, it’s not necessarily because of your diet—your doctor may advise taking medication to keep your heart healthy.  

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Normal blood pressure 120/80 on an LCD screen
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According to Harvard Medical School, today more than 70 percent of men over age 55 technically have high blood pressure. The American Heart Association says it should be 120/80 or below. Over time, high blood pressure can damage blood vessels, vastly increasing your risk of stroke, heart attack and dementia. To lower your risk, get your blood pressure checked regularly, and follow your doctor’s advice on how to keep it in a healthy range. The biggest pro tips: Eat a heart-healthy diet (like Mediterranean or DASH), maintain an optimal weight, and stay active. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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