MHD502- Health Through the Life Span
Dr. Patricia Viera
August 29, 2014
Visit the National Center for Health Statistics or the World Health Organization websites (links in background materials) to identify a chronic disease that significantly affects a specific population of interest. What are the risk and protective factors associated with this disease? To what extent is your population of interest affected by this disease? What disease prevention efforts have been undertaken thus far? To what degree have these been effective? (NOTE: You will need to consult the peer-reviewed literature to address many of these questions.)
Specify the age group that your health promotion intervention will target (e.g., children, adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults, or seniors), and note any distinguishing characteristics of these individuals (e.g., race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, urban versus rural residency, etc.). Why it is important that health promotion efforts be directed at this age group as opposed to others? Please support your response with evidence from the peer-reviewed literature.
Limit your response to a maximum of three pages.
Aging Demographics and Chronic Disease
Chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease remain a leading cause of death, particularly among older adults in the U.S. The number of elderly patients in the world is expected to increase in the coming years due to changing cardiovascular physiology. Cardiovascular diseases among older adults affect the quality of life and burden the American economy (Jackson & Wenger, 2011). In the U.S, the rate of adult population (65 years or older) is expected to increase from 12.4% in 2000 to 19.6% in 2030 and that of older adults aged 80 and above is expected to reach 19.5 million by 2030 from 9.3 million in 2000 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003). In the developed world, 7 in every 10 dead people are older adults aged 70 and older. It has been found that people are predominantly dying of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease therefore, it is essential to focus on middle-aged adults and older adults and take steps to prevent cardiovascular diseases so that older adults can live healthier lives and the burden on American healthcare can be reduced (World Health Organization, 2014).
Cardiovascular Diseases among Older Adults in the U.S
Cardiovascular disease is one of the costliest and preventable chronic health disorders and it is the leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2012, nearly 117 million adults suffered from one or more chronic disorders and two of these chronic disorders; cardiovascular disease and cancer led to approximately 48 percent of all deaths (CDC Overview, 2014). In 2000, approximately 12 percent of the American population comprised of older adults aged 65 and older and their population is expected to reach 20 percent by 2030. Research has shown that heart disease will remain the leading cause of death among older adults. Therefore, it is important to prevent chronic diseases so that older adults can live a better life (Jackson and Wenger, 2011).
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
Several risk factors are associated with cardiovascular diseases. It is not possible to change many factors like age, family history and genetics but other risk factors can be changed and the risk of cardiovascular diseases can be reduced. Having one risk factor does not mean that cardiovascular disease will be developed but more risk factors increase the risk of getting the disease.
Modifiable risk factors
Hypertension is an important risk factor for stroke and heart attacks. The risk of cardiovascular diseases can be increased by abnormal blood lipid levels, higher levels of triglycerides and higher levels of low-density lipoprotein or lower levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Using tobacco can also