We all want to live longer, but not grow old
Population ageing represents a â€œtriumphâ€ and a â€œchallengeâ€ for society. The increase in life expectancy corresponds to an increase of risk factors and age-associated non communicable diseases, with consequent rise in health care costs and the burden of healthcare sustainability. Aim of this analysis is to describe the prevalence of non communicable diseases, comorbidity and disability in non-institutionalized elderly population, aged 75-79 years, examined within the Osservatorio Epidemiologico Cardiovascolare/Health Examination Survey. Cardiovascular disease is the most frequent occurring in 27% of the examined population, followed by diabetes (24%) and chronic kidney disease (21%); 60% of examined elderly population suffers of one or more chronic diseases, while 40% is in a good health. Ninety-three per cent of the examined population is free of disability; cognitive function disorders, assessed by the Folsteinâ€™s Mini Mental State Examination, are recorded in 21% men and 29% women. In the context of prevention, there is still much that needs to be done. It is important to initiate or maintain preventive actions concerning also this age-group at both community and individual level, to promote the cultural notion that a good quality of life in advanced age is built day by day starting from oneâ€™s youth through a healthy diet, regular physical activity and non-smoking habit.
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