What’s Really Keeping You From Aging Well?
During my experience as a health care provider, I have realized that, when it comes to aging well, many older women are worried about developing cancer, especially breast cancer, more than any other age-related diseases.
However, there are other more common medical conditions and age-related diseases that make aging well a challenge. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is responsible for the highest degree of mortality in women. Vascular disease in women accounts for approximately 40% to 45% of all deaths, compared to 25% for all female cancers, including ovarian, breast, cervical, and endometrial cancer. There are many women over 40 living with age-related diseases affecting the heart, and this is putting them at a heightened risk for heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
How Age-Related Diseases Accelerate Aging
The reason why women, in a comparative sense, struggle with aging well is morbidity, which is brought about by age-related diseases. Morbidity refers to a state of ill health whereby you cannot function at optimum levels because of the limitations placed upon you by symptoms of chronic disease—aging well both physically and mentally therefore becomes hindered by your medical condition.
When you suffer from age-related diseases that make you chronically sick, and you’re therefore unable to perform to your potential, the aging process accelerates. This accelerated process—which makes aging well next to impossible—is the result of an abnormal physiological state in your body. Aging well is compromised when you have an age-related disease because your body gives way to what’s happening inside—it can even lead to premature death.
Remember, one of the key reasons for aging faster is the abnormal state of your body caused by age-related diseases. One of the most commonly seen age-related diseases is cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart disease, which all start with the irregular physiological state of inflammation in the arteries.
The causes of cardiovascular disease in women are quite lengthy and can include old age, smoking, diet, family history, and various other lifestyle factors. However, the most common cause of cardiovascular disease (and subsequent inflammation) is being overweight or obese. It’s not news that being obese leads to a number of health problems that serve as hindrances to aging well, but it is also strongly associated with another age-related condition known as insulin resistance.