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Epidemiology and impact on aging
In 1990, people 65 and older accounted for 12% globally, and in 2030 this sector of the population is expected to increase by 20%.
Specifically in Mexico, there is an average annual increase of 180 000 adults per year. This is because they experience major changes in many epidemiological and demographic transitions, leading to accelerated aging of the population. Although there is a higher life expectancy due to technological advances regarding the diagnosis and timely treatment of diseases, decreased fertility and increased prevalence of chronic diseases have made it necessary to have comprehensive medical services to meet the gradual process of aging.
Prevention and healthy aging
Old age is the main risk factor for the development of chronic diseases. Aging is a continuous, irreversible and progressive process.
This is why it is necessary to prevent properly to reduce the occurrence of these diseases. According to the literature, it is considered Successful Aging, that in which there is no physical or cognitive problems, implementing timely prevention and treatment strategies. The main concerns of older adults are a healthy social relationship and a positive outlook on life, even more than the physical well-being.
This concept does not include those older adults who live fully with any degree of illness. There is debate in relation to this term, however it is important that even in the presence of chronic diseases we have proper control of them and also carry out exercise and nutrition programs to prevent their progression and the onset of diseases caused by aging.
There are several diseases that occur more frequently in older adults and it is essential to know them to prevent and treat them to avoid early deterioration.
Some of them are: Walking and balance impairment, urinary and/or fecal incontinence, Dementia, Sensory disorders (hearing and vision), Fragility, Chronic pain, Depression and Anxiety, Functional impairment, loss of autonomy, dental and feet pathology, falls syndrome.
Cancer and aging
Aging is the most important risk factor for cancer. The incidence of the most common malignancies increases with age. In fact, over 60% of all neoplasia occur in patients 65 years and over.
Cancer is the most common cause of death in people over 85. Therefore, a better understanding of the disease will make you have a better control in elderly patients.
There are many biological interactions between cancer and aging. These include an increased susceptibility of aging tissues to environmental carcinogens, physical environmental changes, immune factors, etc. The increased susceptibility of older patients to cancer indicates that primary prevention thereof, including elimination of environmental carcinogens and chemo-prevention, may be particularly effective in this population.