Common Diseases in Elders According to WHO

What are the most common diseases of old age?

As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, making us more susceptible to certain health conditions.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are several prevalent diseases that affect older adults worldwide.

The multilateral agency has also noted that some conditions may become more prevalent with the progressive deterioration of older adults’ physical and mental capacities.

Around the world, people are living longer than ever before. Today, the majority of the population has a life expectancy of 60 years or more.

Every country in the world is experiencing an increase in the number and proportion of older people; it is estimated that the number of people over the age of 60 will increase in the coming years and by 2030, one in six people will be over the age of 60.

It is clear that the so-called aging of the population has started in high-income countries (for example, in Japan, 30% of the population is over 60 years old).

However, the most important changes are now middle-income countries.

In general the main difficulties they face are related to:

  • Hearing loss,
  • Cataracts,
  • Discomfort in the back and neck,
  • diseases such as osteoarthritis,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
  • Diabetes, as well as mental abilities such as depression and different types of dementia.
Most common diseases in elders

Common Diseases in Elders

Cardiovascular Diseases:

including heart disease and stroke, top the list of common diseases in old age.

These conditions often result from long-term exposure to risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking, unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.

Prevention and management strategies involve regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco use, and controlling underlying health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

Regular medical checkups and lifestyle modifications play a crucial role in risk reduction and effective management of these diseases.

Respiratory Diseases:

Such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia, are major health problems for older adults.

These diseases pose an increased risk for older adults due to a weakened immune system.

Influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines, along with smoking cessation, good hygiene practices, and proper management of chronic respiratory conditions, are vital in the prevention and management of these diseases.

Neurological Disorders:

Including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, are common among the elderly population.

These conditions affect cognitive function, memory and daily functioning.

While there is currently no cure; early diagnosis, proper medical care, supportive interventions and a safe environment can improve the quality of life for those affected.

In addition, staying mentally active, maintaining social connections and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Musculoskeletal Conditions:

Such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, are common among older adults, affecting joints, causing pain, stiffness and reduced mobility and weakening bones, increasing the risk of fractures.

Regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, weight control and avoidance of smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are key preventive measures.

Early diagnosis, appropriate pain management, physical therapy and fall prevention strategies can help control these conditions and maintain functional independence.

The aging population poses several challenges for health authorities around the world.

Increased life expectancy increases the likelihood that people will spend the extra time in their lives doing different activities.

According to WHO, older people contribute to their families and communities in many ways.

However, the extent of these opportunities and contributions depends largely on one factor: health.

Finally, implementing preventive measures, promoting healthy lifestyles, ensuring access to health care, and providing support systems are essential to promoting the well-being and quality of life of older adults.

By prioritizing awareness, education and effective management strategies, we can strive for healthier aging and empower older adults to lead fulfilling lives even in the face of these common diseases.

Our sources: WHO, Semana.

The information contained on the My Health Fair website should not be construed as professional advice or medical recommendations.

Readers should direct any questions regarding their personal health care to licensed physicians or other appropriate health professionals.