In a perfect world people would die of advanced old age having spent all their lives in excellent health and not die prematurely of a preventable disease. But as one ages our risks of contracting fatal diseases increases dramatically. So is it possible to enjoy the latter part of one’s life disease-free?
The top five killers are heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity and stroke. Other alarming health conditions pertinent to aging are osteoporosis and macular degeneration. The good news is that medical research has identified many of the risk factors associated with these conditions and the “usual suspects” are often to blame.
While we must accept health is influenced by the interaction of many variables and that the two factors we cannot change are our age and our heredity, nonetheless by reducing or even eliminating exposure to unnecessary and self-generated risks we are far less likely to succumb prematurely to the top five killers. We may even avoid them altogether and live healthily and actively to a ripe old age.
As we age, however, we need to be aware that our abilities to fight disease weakens. Hence it is imperative to initiate a preventative risk-reduction program by implementing a healthy lifestyle program without delay. As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure.