Age is one of the most common risk factors when it comes to chronic health conditions. According to the National Council on Aging, almost 95% of adults 60 and older have at least one chronic condition, and nearly 80% have two or more. We’re spotlighting a few of the most common conditions that impact seniors and some steps you can take to ensure you’re aging healthily.

According to the National Institute on Aging, studies have shown that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives. However, up to 17% of seniors are still impacted by mild and major depression. The mood disorder causes persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness, fatigue, difficulty making decisions and more. If you suffered from depression earlier in life, you are more likely to have it as an older adult. Other risk factors include stress, isolation, sleep issues, lack of physical activities and genetics.

high blood pressure
More than 60% of older adults are being treated for hypertension. The condition occurs when your heart pumps a lot of blood and your arteries are narrow, which makes them resistant to blood flow. It can lead to stroke and heart attack. One of the major dangers of high blood pressure is that you can have it for years without knowing, so make sure to talk with your doctor about your risks.

high cholesterol
High cholesterol is an issue for around 48% of seniors. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your cells, used to make hormones and digest fats. High cholesterol can cause plaque buildup in your arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. The CDC recommends adults at low risk for heart disease have their cholesterol tested every five years, and those at higher risk should consult their doctor about how often they should be screened.

coronary heart disease
Also known as ischemic heart disease or coronary artery disease, the condition is caused by the buildup of plaque that narrows arteries. Nearly 22% of older adults are impacted by coronary heart disease. Narrow or blocked arteries decrease the amount of oxygen-rich blood delivered to the heart, leading to complications like blood clots, angina or a heart attack. Other conditions that can increase your risk for coronary heart disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Men are at higher risk for the condition as well as people who smoke.

kidney disease
More than 50% of seniors over the age of 75 are believed to have kidney disease, according to research from Johns Hopkins University. As well as reducing kidney function over time, the condition leads to a greater risk of heart disease. Your kidney health also can be impacted by other health concerns like diabetes and high blood pressure. The National Kidney Foundation suggests adults over the age of 60 receive annual screenings for kidney disease.

The CDC estimates that more than 54 million people in the United States suffer from some form of arthritis, accounting for 23% of the adult population. When factoring for age, that number can rise as high as 35%. The condition is an inflammation of your joints, which causes pain and stiffness. It can be caused by wear and tear on the joints, and it can be impacted by factors like weight and previous injury. Arthritis is more common in women.

tips for healthy aging

  • Get moving. Physical activity is important. Work out in a gym with a friend, take a walk with family or even try a hobby like gardening.
  • Eat right. A healthy diet will make a big difference. Make sure you are getting key nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, folic acid, potassium, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B12.
  • Find ways to manage your stress. Take time for mindfulness through activities like journaling or yoga.
  • Learn something new. Keep your brain active and engaged by developing new hobbies or taking classes. Go to the doctor regularly. Checking in with your primary care physician can help identify health concerns early or even prevent them.
  • Connect with friends and family. Isolation can negatively impact both your mental and physical health, so keep your social connections strong.

Sources: CDC, National Institute on Aging, National Council on Aging, National Kidney Foundation