How Well are We Aging
With the rapid progress of medical advances today,
one would expect that our general health is improving
at the same pace. Sadly this is not so.
Whilst more than 5,000 people in USA celebrate their
65th birthday every day, almost half of all aging Americans
have a chronic condition. By 2030, this percentage is
expected to increase to over 68% by 2030.
With our current lifestyles, almost half of older adults
have high blood pressure and more than a third have
arthritis and heart disease.
How well we are aging is measured using Biomarkers
Studies in How Well we are aging
This prompted state-wide the development of the Behavioral
Risk Factor Surveillance System to define healthy lifestyle
characteristics (HLCs) and to generate a single indicator
of a healthy lifestyle.
The study defined 4 HLCs:
- Healthy weight or body mass index - calculated
as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height
in meters of 18.5-25.0
- Consuming 5 or more fruits and vegetables per day,
- Regular physical activity - at least 30 minutes
5 times per week
These 4 HLC’s together create a a single healthy
lifestyle indicator or index with a range of 0-4.
When applied to 153,000 adults, only 3% of Americans
can be defined a living a healthy lifestyle.
Apart from the health impact at the personal level,
this escalating reduction in health is expected to cost
$16 trillion by 2030.
With more open learning channels, including the Internet,
we are more aware than ever of the cause of diseases
and how best to prevent disease or care for ourselves
when we are ill.
Health is a personal asset – how we invest in
our health and how we manage our lifestyles largely
determines the benefits we receive in maintaining a
strong, flexible, healthy body.
Three of the most studied areas that adversely affect
our aging are:
- Nicotine - Smoking