Chronic disease (cont.)

Diabetes is a serious, costly, and increasingly common chronic disease. Early detection, improved delivery of care, and better self-management are the key strategies for preventing much of the burden of diabetes. Seven million persons aged 65 years or older (20.1% of all people in this age group) have diabetes, most of them type 2 diabetes.

Epilepsy and seizures affect about 2.3 million Americans, and result in an estimated $12.5 billion in medical costs and lost or reduced earnings and production annually in the US. People of all ages are affected, but particularly the very young and the elderly. About 10% of Americans will experience a seizure, and about 3% will have or will have had a diagnosis of epilepsy by age 80.

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions among Americans in all age groups. Obesity among adults has doubled since 1980. People who are obese or overweight are at increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis-related disabilities, and some cancers.

Oral health problems are an important and often overlooked component of an older adult's general health and well-being. Oral health problems can cause pain and suffering as well as difficulty in speaking, chewing, swallowing, and maintaining a nutritious diet.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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