Health Care Ideas Changing
Your risk of dying hinges on well-being not diseases
A new study…finding that how old you are plays little or no role in determining differences in health and well-being…Some of the findings include:
Cancer itself is not related to other conditions that undermine health.
Poor mental health, which afflicts one in eight older adults, undermines health in ways not previously recognized.
Obesity seems to pose little risk to older adults with excellent physical and mental health.
Sensory function and social participation play critical roles in sustaining or undermining health.
Breaking a bone after age 45 is a major marker for future health issues.
Older men and women have different patterns of health and well-being during aging.
Mobility is one of the best markers of well-being….
The healthiest 22%
Twenty-two percent of older Americans were in the model’s healthiest category. This group was typified by higher obesity and blood pressure, but had fewer organ system diseases, better mobility, sensory function, and psychological health. They had the lowest prevalence of dying or becoming incapacitated (six percent) five years into the study.
A second category had normal weight, low prevalence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but had one minor disease such as thyroid disease, peptic ulcers, or anemia. They were twice as likely to have died or become incapacitated within five years.
Two emerging vulnerable classes of health traits, completely overlooked by the medical model, included 28 percent of the older population.
One group included people who had broken a bone after age 45.
A second new class had mental health problems, in addition to poor sleep patterns, engaged in heavy drinking, had a poor sense of smell and walked slowly, all of which correlate with depression.
The most vulnerable older people were in two classes—one characterized by immobility and uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension. A majority of people in each of these categories were women, who tend to outlive men.
“From a health system perspective, a shift of attention is needed from disease-focused management,