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Health Studies
Michelle Silver

AGING AND THE LIFE CYCLE LECTURE NOTES FOR MIDTERM  Epidemiology o The study of the determinants of health issues in specified populations and its distribution and the control of health problems  Life span o Humans: max life span 120 years  Compression of morbidity o The concept of pushing all the morbidity of one’s life into as small a time period as possible o The goal of living disease- and illness-free for as long as possible  3 conditions that affect population size and structure o Immigration o Death rates o Birth rates  Number of immigrants to Canada is about age 25-55  Dependency ratio o (Population 0-19) + (population 65+) / (population 20-64)  Malignant tumor cells are able to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body o The first sign that a malignant tumour has spread (metastasized) is often swelling of nearby lymph nodes, but cancer can metastasize to almost any part of the body. o Cancers are named after the part of the body where they start.  Osteoporosis o In most cases, bones weaken due to low levels of:  Calcium, phosphorus and other minerals  Risk factors include: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) & other medications  Arthritis o Two most common types:  Osteoarthritis and  Most common form  Occurs when cartilage in joints wears down over time  Can affect any joint in your body  Rheumatoid arthritis  Inflammatory form of arthritis  Attacks the lining of joints causing swelling that can result in aching and throbbing and eventually deformity o Joint pain and stiffness are the main symptoms  Tendinitis o Common around the shoulders, elbows, wrists and heels  Ligaments o Surround joints and bind them together o Help strengthen and stabilize joints, permitting movement only in certain directions o Connect one bone to another  Tendons o Attach each end of a muscle to a bone o Bursas are small fluid-filled sacs that can lie under a tendon, cushioning the tendon and protecting it from injury  Connective tissues o Provide structure and support, often connecting other types of tissue to each other o Cartilage o Fascia  Visceral fat: surrounds the internal organs  Age related changes in soft tissue o Calcification: mineral calcium builds up in soft tissue, causing the tissue to harden o Microtears: very small tears found in tendons, ligaments and muscle o Cartilage stiffness, muscle loss and atrophy, decrease in muscle strength, endurance and reactivity  The cardiovascular system o Main function  Deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tissues  Carry waste product to the organs responsible for elimination o Age related changes  Enlargement of the heart  Slowing of electrical activity  Slowed pulse  Increased blood pressure  Decreased ability to cool down or heat up o Disease related processes  Optimal blood pressure for adults is 120/80  Systolic pressure is peak pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the beginning of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are contracting  Diastolic pressure is minimum pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the end of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are filled with blood  Hypertension  Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.  Arteriosclerosis  The thickening and loss of elasticity of arterial walls  Atherosclerosis  One of the most common forms of arteriosclerosis  The deposition of plaques inside the arterial wall  Peripheral Vascular Disease  a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs  Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)  Leading cause of heart disease  Results from atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries of the heart o Angina pectoris o Myocardial infarction (MI)/Heart Attack  Heart Failure  When the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs  Almost exclusively a disease of older people Cognitive Functioning and Decline  The somatic nervous system o Participate in the organism’s relationship with its external environment o Send information to the brain from the body’s various sensory detectors  The autonomic nervous system o More involved in regulating vital internal functions o Help maintain internal equilibrium by coordinating such activities as digestion, respiration, blood circulation, excretion, and the secretion of hormones. o Is further divided into the sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous system  The spinal cord is protected by the bony spinal column o The spinal column is made up of vertebrae o Although the spinal column is somewhat flexible, some of the vertebrae in the lower parts of the spinal column become fused  Nerves o Pass between and branch into the body’s organs and tissues o Peripheral nerve fibers that have been crushed or partially cut may regenerate slowly o Natural regeneration is must less likely in the nerve fibers of the brain and spinal chord  Frontal Lobe o Speech production, movement initiation, and aspects of “personality” are based in this lobe  Temporal lobe o Recognition of sounds, their tones, and loudness takes place in temporal lobes; they also play a role in storage of memory  Brain Stem o Lowest, mainly automatic region of brain o Contains centers that regulate several functions vital for survival including:  Heartbeat  Respiration  Blood pressure  Some reflexes like vomiting and swallowing  Cerebellum o Is involved with timing and accuracy of skilled movements o Controls the body's voluntary movements: balance and posture  Occipital Lobe o Mainly concerned with analyzing and interpreting visual information form sensory nerve signals sent by the eyes  Parietal Lobe o Area in which bodily sensations such as touch, temperature, pressure and pain are perceived and interpreted  There is no single “memory center” of the brain o Thoughts, feelings, awareness, emotions, and memory involve many parts of the brain  Amygdala o Stores emotional parts of memory, especially powerful feelings o Located in the temporal lobe  Stroke o Aka cerebrovascular accidents o A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and food o Within minutes, brain cells begin to die o Types of strokes  Ischemic  About 80% of strokes are ischemic caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain due to a blood clot  Hemorrhagic  About 20% of strokes are hemorrhagic caused by uncontrolled bleeding in the brain  Dementia indicates problems with at least two brain functions, such as memory loss along with impaired judgment or language o A decline in the number of brain cells which results in shrinkage of brain tissue and consequent deterioration in mental ability o A combination of memory loss, confusion, and general intellectual decline o Alzheimer’s is the most common form  Brain damage occurs due to the abnormal production of the protein amyloid, which builds up in the brain  Emotions increase in importance with age o A bias for older adults to remember more positive emotional information than negative emotional information  Activities of Daily Living o Skills that a person must be able to perform in order to live independently o First developed as a way to measures ability to complete 6 basic functions: o Bathing, dressing, toileting, bed to chair, continence, eating  Instrumental activities of daily living o Important but not essential skills because there are services to provide them  Using the phone, shopping, preparing food, housekeeping, laundry, independent travel, taking meds, handling finances  Balance and gait are frequently used to evaluate an older person’s risk of falling o To assess strength, flexibility, and balance: o Observe the person rising from a chair to standing o Walking and turning o Standing and leaning forward or backward  Cognition o Short portable mental status questionnaire  Models of health behaviour change o Health belief models o Self-efficacy model o Self-regulation model Theories on Aging  Micro-level theories = focus on individuals  Macro-level theories = examine social structures  Age vs aging o Theories about age explain cultural and social phenomena o Theories about aging are theories about living, the changes experienced during the life course, and the interdependencies throughout life among the different generations  Relative time – things, events, are ordered in time but we don’t have a precise measurement or span  Absolute time - involves measurement and is the imposition of culture on natural regularities o Informal knowledge of age  Age-ambiguous- no way to say how old someone is. Relative sense of time. No watches, or use the moon to tell time  Age-aware- can say how old someone is, use of calendar ,rather informal- not recorded in govt documents. Sense of when bday is o Formal knowledge of age  Age-forced contexts- people who were in societies that were age amigious and then were forced to be assigned to a certain age- sometimes not accurate  Age-explicit- places like canada. Govt keeps record of how old someone is- cultural expectations of what you should do at a certain age  Culture gives meaning to time and age o Provides people with knowledge of what to do at a certain age  Aging involves complex interactions among biological, environmental, and cultural domains  Biological perspectives on aging o Genetic- life span is determined by the genes we inherit- determined when we are born  Programmed Cell Death – when cells are no longer needed, they commit suicide by activating an intracellular death program. Intentional, deliberate  Stochastic Processes – aging is due to the gradual accumulation of
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