March 01, 2016 08:07
If people lead a healthy life without suffering from aftereffects of serious diseases before they turn 80, they are more likely to live to 100, studies suggest.
After people turn 80 they are infected with fewer new diseases and they proceed more slowly if they occur. The biggest hurdles to extreme longevity are now injuries from a fall or pneumonia. This means that people's health in their 70s can determine if they live to 100 or more.
Most diseases break out when people are in their 70s. The number of sufferers of osteoporosis, a typical geriatric muscloskeletal disease, rose from about 530,000 in 2007 to some 830,000 in 2014.
The rise was more conspicuous among those in their 70s than any other age group, with the figure more than doubling from 160,000 to 360,000 during the same period.
Cerebrovascular diseases is the second largest cause of death after cancer. The number of new female stroke patients in their 60s stood at 50,000 in 2014 but at about 90,000 among women in their 70s. And 70-somethings are 34 times more likely to suffer hemorrhage than those in their 30s.
The pattern of sharp increases among people in their 70s is also true of mental disorders. The number of anxiety disorder patients in their 70s stood at about 60,000 in 2008, but it jumped to 120,000 in 2014.
The increase rate was triple that of younger age groups.
"You can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases if you keep your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol under control. You can also prevent muscular skeletal diseases if you exercise to strengthen your muscles such as walking up the stairs or doing squats," said Kim Won-gon at Seoul National University Hospital.
After the age of 50, muscle mass decreases by one percent every year. Therefore, the older people grow, the more they need to exercise their muscles.
"People over 60 should have their health risks assessed, based on family history and their own vulnerability, rather than depending upon medical checkups focusing on cancer. They should focus on checkups to discover common geriatric diseases at an early date," said Cho Kyung-hwan at Korea University Hospital.
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