AGEING AND SUBOPTIMAL HEALTH STATUS

Aged Population In Asia-Pacific:

The population in Asia Pacific region are undergoing a profound and rapid ageing process, and it is at the forefront of the global phenomenon of ageing population. All Asia Pacific countries are in progression of ageing at a rapid pace,  even though the time and speed of this change varies from region to region.

By 2050, one out of every four people in Asia-Pacific will be above 60 years of age. The aged population in the region will increase between 2010 and 2050, reaching nearly 1.3 billion people.

Ageing:

Since the time of conception, each of our cells, tissues and organs undergo a process of ageing. In the beginning of life, certainly, we still are growing, and hence the number of cells also expand. We just see our body developing and growing,  but reality is all our cells are ageing slightly.

Usually the telltale signs of ageing begin to appear in the 30’s. these signs can be seen vitally in everything such as our digestive system, nervous system, blood pressure, physical features (our skin), bones and joints etc. Some of these changes may begin earlier in life, such as changes in digestive system begin at age of 20.

What to Expect during Ageing:

Everyone knows that ageing is likely to cause wrinkles on the face and grey hair. But very less know that how ageing will affect your body organs (heart, teeth, or sexuality). Following are the changes you need to expect, and how to promote good health at any age.

Sensory changes:

  • Hearing Loss
  • Deterioration of visual activity
  • Weakening of vestibular function
  • The lenses become less clear

Immunosenescence:

  • Immunity dysfunction
  • Slowed inflammatory processes
  • Prone to infection

Blood Vessels and Heart:

  • Stiffening of the blood vessels and arteries
  • Risk of high blood pressure and hypertension
  • Heart muscle become less effective

Digestive System:

  • Constipation
  • Smaller amount of digestive juices from stomach, liver, pancreas, and small intestine are released

Memory and Nervous System:

    • Cognitive decline
    • The number of nerve cells and their connection decreases

 

  • Abnormal structure formation begin in the brain, known as plaques and tangles

 

Urinary Tract and Bladder:

  • Difficulty in urination
  • Urinary incontinence

Bones, Joint and Muscles:

  • Loss of muscle mass and strength
  • Weakening of bones
  • Joints become stiffer and less flexible
  • The cartilage and bone in joints starts to weaken
  • Muscle tissue becomes less bulky and less strong

Age-Related Chronic Diseases:

Ageing makes one vulnerable to some medical conditions. Suboptimal health status (SHS) increases with age and is correlated with the prevalence of chronic diseases.

Cardiovascular diseases

Mostly the stiffening of the blood vessels and arteries occur in the cardiovascular systems, which makes it hard to pump blood through them. In order to adjust itself with increased work load the heart muscles changes itself. Due to which the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular problems increases.

Hypertension

Hypertension is predominantly common among older people and is related to mortality at advanced ages. Researchers are evident that aggressive treatment should be offered and continued as long as it is well-tolerated by the patient’s goals.

Cancer

Cancer is the next important cause of death in older adults. Yet, through age 85, the death rate particularly from cancer begins to fall. As commonly known, response to cancer treatment does not really depend on the age but on the functional status of the patient.

Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis

Osteoarthritis is the third among the most common chronic diseases in older adults and a cause of chronic pain and disability. 52% of adults ageing 85 years or more have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in a study. As the adults age the rate of severe hip, and knee arthritis increases.

Whereas, osteoporosis is linked with an increased rate of bone fractures. Even though the prevalence of fractures in men increases after the age of 85, but for women it is recommended to go for a bone density screening by age 65.

Diabetes mellitus

The rate of patients with diabetes increase as populations age. It is expected that the prevalence of diabetes among older adults may increase up to 400% by 2050.

Diet Plan For Ageing People To manage SHS:

Eating healthy and living an active life combined with regular physical activity, helps a person to manage SHS, conserving independence in older age.

As the person ages, they need to eat food of all type and from every group to reach the essential level of nutrients required. A healthy diet plan may include fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat; meat, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts, fats, salt  and added sugars.

Consume nutrient-rich foods and appropriate supplements to manage SHS and enrich health.

Diet should include:

  • Protein
  • Fibre
  • Calcium and vitamin D
  • Vitamin B12
  • Potassium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Adequate amount of water

Achieve healthy ageing and minimise age-related chronic diseases with holistic health interventions. 

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