- The distinction of primary & secondary aging is intended to emphasize the fact that aging and disease are not synonymous.
- The specific physical illnesses or conditions that are more common in aging but are caused by health habits, genes, and other influences that vary from person to person is called secondary aging.
- In one survey of 1,600 elderly people, the majority said their health does not limit their activities at all, even though 62 percent had two or more chronic conditions such as arthritis and heart disease.
- Whether a particular elderly person is likely to be seriously ill, somewhat ailing, or in fine health depends primarily not on age but on genetics, past lifestyle, current eating, exercise habits, and psychological factors.
- Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the incidence of chronic and acute diseases becomes greater with age.
- Two Reasons for the increased incidence of chronic diseases follow:
1.) Older people are more likely to have accumulated several risk factors for chronic disease.
2.) Many of the biological changes that occur with aging reduce the efficiency of the body’s systems, making the older person more susceptible to disease.
Older persons are more susceptible to disease, take longer to recover from illness, and are more likely to die of any disease or infection.
A limiting of the time a person spends ill or infirm, accomplished by postponing illness or, once morbidity occurs, hastening death is called compression of morbidity.