With the changes made possible by advanced medicine, innovative technologies and modern society, men and women in the United States are able to live longer, more active lives than ever before. But even as life expectancy increases, there are still certain physiological changes that occur in the later years of life that result in unique health concerns for older adults. By equipping yourself with knowledge about these changes, you and your primary doctor can work together to keep you in optimal health. Read on to learn more about the unique health concerns affecting older adults:
- Heart and Lung Function: Your heart is a strong muscle that, in conjunction with your lungs, keeps your body functioning properly. As a result of natural aging, changes can occur in the heart and blood vessels that could lead to disease. Attending regular checkups with your physician can help you detect early signs of heart disease, like atherosclerosis or high blood pressure, before they become a more significant problem.
- Cancer Screening: Although cancer affects patients of all ages, those over the age of 50 appear to be at higher risk for the disease. Because cancer is most successfully treated in its earliest stages, it is critical for older adults to have regular cancer screenings performed to detect the disease even before symptoms present.
- Bone and Joint Health: Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the most common joint disease affecting older adults. This condition occurs when the cartilage between joints progressively wears away. Osteoarthritis most often affects the weight-bearing joints of the body, such as the knees and hips, but can also occur in the hands, neck, and lower back. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of developing this painful joint condition.
For more information, call Memorial Clinical Associates. Our practice offers exceptional, full-service primary care in the heart of Houston's Memorial communities. Visit us online, or call us today at (713) 407-3067 to schedule an appointment.