age-related diseases


Aging produces normal physical changes. All of the cells of the body begin to change by becoming more rigid and more brittle. These cellular changes cause changes in vision, hearing, and the circulatory and digestive systems. As physical changes progress, disease becomes more prevalent. As the population ages, more diseases occur, and we do not know the reason why. Experts have looked for ways to determine the difference between the normal physical changes caused by aging and the development of disease. In order to support the effort to differentiate normal aging from disease, professionals have developed three principles of age-related disease development.

The most common age-related diseases in the United States today are coronary heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Other chronic diseases of aging are hypertension, osteoporosis, and diseases of the eyes and ears. All of these age-related diseases are influenced by many factors, including gender, socioeconomic status (SES), and culture.

This week, you will apply the effects of gender, SES, or culture to one disease using the three principles of age-related disease development. You may want to consider your own heritage and choose an age-related disease to study that runs in your family.

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