A look at the main illnesses affecting the us elderly population

As we get older, there is a greater likelihood that we will be affected by some kind of illness. In some cases, these illnesses are brought about by wear and tear and the aging process, while in other situations, a wide range of diseases can affect us. Below are some of the main illnesses that affect the US elderly population today.

Respiratory Problems

Respiratory problems are the third highest cause of death of senior citizens in the United States. Asthma, bronchitis and emphysema are the most common issues and many of these respiratory problems can lead onto more serious health conditions such as lung disease and pneumonia.

The large number of cases of respiratory diseases means there is a huge demand for experts in this area, which has led to the development of a wide range of bachelor in respiratory therapy degree programs from colleges and universities like the University of Cincinnati. Once you complete a course like an online respiratory therapy degree, you will be in the position to help a huge number of people, as the amount of older people who suffer from this condition increases.

Heart Disease

It’s estimated that almost 500,000 US citizens aged 65 and over, die from heart disease every year. This huge amount of deaths every year makes it the highest cause of death of people in this age bracket.

High cholesterol, high blood pressure, poor diet and a lack of exercise are all contributing factors to this health problem and when left unchecked, there is a greater chance that an older person will develop heart disease, have a stroke or have a heart attack. To avoid becoming the latest addition to this statistic, you should go for regular health checkups, avoid smoking, improve your diet and live a more active lifestyle.


Approximately 50% of senior citizens suffer from some form of arthritis. This condition can be extremely painful and it affects many aspects of a person’s life. For instance, you can become less mobile and in more extreme cases you may be confined to your home. Once again, arthritis is a condition you need to tackle at an early stage and continually work with medical professionals to reduce its impact on your life.


More than 400,000 people aged 65 and older succumb to cancer. Many more people in this age bracket have to live with this common disease and continue to live relatively normal lives. The quicker cancer is detected through cancer screening methods like skin checks and mammograms, the quicker they can be treated and the greater the chance you have of surviving this disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease

It is estimated that one in nine people aged 65 and over has Alzheimer’s Disease. However, because of the nature of this disease, it’s not always easy to detect this health problem.

A wide range of illnesses affect our older citizens. In the past, many of these health problems would have led to an early death, but the latest medical advances and the fact that more elderly people are taking care of themselves better, means more people are able to live longer lives even though they have these illnesses.

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