Specific diseases associated with older age are discussed below with reference to professional and scientific societies where more information on the disease and statistics can be found.
Arthritis and conditions related to it are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. It affects nearly 43 million Americans.
More information on Arthritis: National Arthritis Foundation
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist. In the United States, 10 million people have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can strike at any age, but it is most common in older women. Eighty percent of the people in the United States with osteoporosis are women. One out of every two women and one in four men over age 50 will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis.
More information on Osteoporosis: National Osteoporosis Foundation
Heart disease is the nation’s leading cause of death. Tobacco use, lack of physical activity and poor nutrition -all health-related behaviors-greatly contribute to developing heart disease. Modifying even one of these behaviors can greatly improve the chances of preventing or controlling heart disease.
More information on Cardiovascular Health: American Heart Association
Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S. Prevention, early detection, and treatment are all ways of reducing the nation’s cancer burden but requires reducing the behavioral and environmental factors that increase a persons risk of developing cancer. Risk factors include lack of physical activity, low fruit and vegetable intake, a low-fiber diet, obesity, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use. Screening and early detection is crucial for surviving cancer.
More information on Cancer: American Cancer Society and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Diabetes is an increasingly common chronic disease in the U.S. Seven million people 65 years of age and older (20.1% of all people in this age group) have diabetes. Early detection, improved care, and better self-management are key to reducing the burden of diabetes.
More information on Diabetes: American Diabetes Association and Joslin Diabetes Center