“Developing countries will become older before they become rich while industrialized countries became rich before they were growing old” WHO
The world is ageing. According to the WHO, there are some 600 million people aged 60 and over worldwide; this is expected to double by 2025 and up to two billion by 2050. Most of the older people will be living in developing countries. However, the question is, are the developing countries prepared to confront the challenges of rapidly ageing societies?
With ageing, population comes a declining dependency ratio (the number of working people becomes less than the non-working people), consequently, there is an increasing tendency for the ageing to increase their working lifetime.
However, we must consider the pressure and risk that comes with ageing. According to WHO, ageing comes with at least one chronic disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, and osteo-muscular conditions? Despite the risk of old age; we have seen older people trying to increase their working age.
Persistent work related stress could lead to the development of both mental and physical illness such as anxiety, depression, and cardiovascular disease. Several large studies reports reveal that work related stress increases with age peaking at about 50 to 55yrs
In preparation for a good health during old age, it is best to start early. While the cure to some diseases are yet to be found, a great number can be prevented, forestalled, or minimized with a healthy lifestyle and regular health screenings. Start doing much while in your mid age.
Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
Did you know that about 0.8% of adults aged 60 and older are overweight or obese? More than 40% of adults 60 and above have a combination of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome. Obesity can make you vulnerable to hypertension, diabetes and it is related to type 2 diabetes, gall bladder disease, breast and colon cancer et al.
Metabolic syndrome puts people at increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR
· In men: waist measurement higher than 40 inches, HDL (“good” cholesterol) level is less than 40mg/dL
· In women: apple-shaped body with waist measurement higher than 35 inches. “Good” cholesterol (HDL) level 50 mg/Dl. HDL cholesterol is “good” cholesterol because it helps to remove bad (LDL) cholesterol from the arteries. LDL cholesterol is “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries make them less flexible. This can lead to heart attack or stroke.
· Women in perimenopause and menopause are prune to accumulation of fat around the waist and hips
· Triglyceride level is up to150 mg/dL or even more
· Blood pressure of 130/85 or more
· Fasting glucose level: 110 mg/dL or more
Prevention and management
2. Avoid or reduce alcohol intake – lot of calories from alcohol intake goes right to the gut
3. Reduce calorie intake.
4. Increase healthy fat intake such as omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats.
5. Get rid of Trans fats, it is never healthy.
6. Avoid foods sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Common sweetener is found in sodas, breakfast cereal and low-fat yogurt.
Cholesterol experts believe you are healthy if the different cholesterol levels are within these range.
Total cholesterol of 5mmol/L or less
Non-HDL cholesterol of 4mmol/L or less
LDL cholesterol of 3mmol/L or less
Fasting triglyceride of 2mmol/L or less is normal
Non-fasting triglyceride of 4mmol/L or less is normal
NB : mmol/L represents Milli moles per liter
It is best to be proactive. Ensure to eat naturally prepared foods as much as possible, especially if you are still in your middle age.