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10 Chronic Health Conditions That Can Develop as We Age

10 Chronic Health Conditions That Can Develop as We Age
Kevin Cleary

Yeah, it stinks to get old!! While wisdom comes with aging, it also comes with potential health issues. Chronic health conditions can develop as we get older. We are no different than a car in that manner!! Despite maintenance, eventually, things will break down, and avoiding most chronic health conditions is difficult. Fortunately, I can give you some insight into 10 chronic health conditions that can develop as we age.

What Is a Chronic Illness?

Illness and health issues can, unfortunately, go hand-in-hand with aging. What makes an illness or health condition one that is chronic? The two types of illness are:

  • Acute: These illnesses or conditions develop suddenly or quickly and typically last a short period of time.
  • Chronic: Health conditions or illnesses that have long-lasting effects or persistent symptoms are considered chronic conditions.

10 Common Chronic Health Conditions

Yes, wisdom is a byproduct of aging, but unfortunately, as we get older, it can be very common to develop chronic health conditions. The 10 most common chronic diseases include:

1. Arthritis

As we age, arthritis can affect our joints, such as our hands, elbows, knees, and even our backs. This chronic inflammation of joints can lead to pain and stiffness and the possibility of balls leading to fractures. Although there are many types of arthritis, some of the most common ones include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout. As per an article published by, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that "more than one-third of the adults who have arthritis report that it limits their leisure activities and work and 25% of them say it causes severe pain (seven or higher on a scale of zero to 10)."

Another common type of arthritis that affects women more commonly than men is osteoporosis. That is because women have less bone mass to start with. However, it is not to say that men are not affected by it at all. In fact, older men and perimenopausal women suffer more fractures due to osteoporosis. It is often called a "silent killer" since there are typically no symptoms until a bone breaks. Therefore, it is important to stay vigilant and practice a healthy lifestyle. 


2. Vision issues

As we age, changes in our eyes can greatly affect our quality of life. It's important to understand that normal, healthy aging can cause reduced visual function. But, there are also age-related diseases that can impact vision, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Researchers are working on ways to prevent or delay these visual disabilities. However, in the meantime, regular eye checkups and the use of eye aids can help maintain your vision. 

3. Chronic Back Pain

Low back pain is a type of pain that occurs between the lower edge of the ribs and the buttocks. It can be acute, sub-acute, or chronic and can affect anyone. Low back pain can cause difficulty in movement and can have a negative impact on the quality of life and mental well-being of the affected person. It can also limit one's ability to work and engage with family and friends. Most people experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Though children and young adults can also experience back pain, the highest number of cases tends to occur in the age range of 50 to 55 years, says WHO's article on Low Back Pain. Additionally, it is more frequently experienced by women than men. 

4. Diabetes

Diabetes is a common and serious disease, and it affects many older adults. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 29.4 million adults have diabetes, and 27.2 million people aged 65 years or older (48.8%) have prediabetes. But the good news is that prediabetes is reversible with certain lifestyle and dietary changes. Similarly, diabetes (type 1 and type 2) is controllable. With the right guidance, diabetes supplies, and certain lifestyle changes, you can minimize the impact of diabetes and diabetes-related health problems on your quality of life. 


5. Cancer

While cancer can affect anyone of any age, it can become a bigger issue as we age. Cancer is when cells become abnormal and start multiplying. Breast, cervical, prostate, and skin cancers can all be chronic conditions associated with aging. According to the GLOBCAN 2020 Data, "Cancer can develop at any age, but the incidence of cancer rises dramatically at a later stage in life. In fact, in 2018, more than 50% of people who had cancer were 65 or older."

6. Hearing loss

Who hasn’t had an aging family member or loved one who has experienced diminished hearing loss as they get older? According to an article by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, "age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is hearing loss that occurs gradually for many of us as we grow older. It is one of the most common conditions affecting adults as we age. Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) ages 18 and over report some trouble hearing, and about one in three people in the U.S. between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss. Nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing." Although prevalent, hearing loss can be managed with proper treatment and management options. There are some over-the-counter hearing aids that can also help with hearing loss. 

7. Sleep issues

Adults 65 and older can have issues with their sleep-wake cycle. This can cause older people to get sleepy earlier, have trouble falling asleep, and not sleep soundly while waking early. Our elderly population is also more susceptible to insomnia and can be affected by sleep apnea. Additionally, a research paper on Sleep Disorders in the Elderly states that as we age, our bodies change in ways that can make it harder to sleep well. Other health problems and medications can also affect your sleep adversely.

8. Cardiovascular disease

As we age, our heart becomes less efficient and must work harder to pump blood. As blood vessels lose their elasticity, along with atherosclerosis, the heart works harder, increasing blood pressure. Apparently, as per Medline Plus, "In people older than 75, congestive heart failure occurs 10 times more often than in younger adults. Coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and orthostatic hypotension are also common with older age.

9. Stroke

A byproduct of high blood pressure is the risk of stroke. High blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes are the two highest risk factors leading to strokes. According to the Medical University of South Carolina, stroke afflicts about 800,000 people a year and is estimated to occur at the rate of one American every 40 seconds. Strokes can occur without warning and can cause permanent/temporary brain damage and loss of bodily functions. Statistically speaking, 75 percent of strokes occur in people 65 or older. 

10. Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Another common chronic health condition is Dementia or Alzheimer's, which affects older adults. Currently, there are around 5.8 million people in the US who are affected by this condition. It is a progressive disease, and unfortunately, there is no cure for it at present. Early detection of dementia can help reduce the progression rate and help manage the condition better. Some strategies to manage dementia symptoms include cognitive and physical therapy, social engagement, and the use of certain dementia products


When to see a doctor?

Early detection is a key to managing and treating any health ailment. If you or your loved one notice any symptoms or suspect any health condition. It is recommended you consult with a healthcare professional at the earliest. 

Where can you buy products to help prevent or manage chronic health diseases?

Chronic health conditions can adversely affect us as we age. Often, the critically ill experience these issues as they get older. Be proactive and work with your doctor to potentially ward off some of these chronic conditions with lifestyle changes like a healthy diet. Visit HPFY for any and all of your needs for preventing or treating chronic health conditions.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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