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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Guide

Course Code
Kathy Pichora- Fuller

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Chapter 6: Physical Health and Aging
the fourth age = 85+, the fastest growing segment of the population
4 key characteristics of age-health relations:
oHealth is lifelong process determined in various ways by interplay b/w biogenetic processes and
cultural/environmental influences
oHealth is maintained/changed in part by actions & inactions of individual
oHealth is multidimensional across life span. Biophysiological, cog, social processes affecting dev.
changes in health and disease operate at multiple levels (cells, tissues, organs, complex systems)
oHealth refers to wellness as well as disease/illness. Health: state of complete physical, mental, social
well-being, not merely absence of disease or infirmity.
Chronic illnesses = leading causes of deaths in older adults; heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular
disease (stroke) = 60%; decreasing over time, though
48% of older men, 55% of older women have hypertension
20% of older men, 15% of older women have diabetes (increased in recent years)
Prevalence of high cholesterol decreased, thanks to medications; obesity is increasing
Proportion of elders reporting fair/poor health declined; more white people get vaccinations than
Mammography rates dramatically improved; more medical procedures performed on outpatient
basis, avg. length of stay <
Rate for bypass surgery increased during 80s/90s, then declined; coronary angioplasty increased,
total knee replacement increased, hip replacement increased in 80s, then levelled off
Use of prescription medicines in older people increased (18.9/person 29/person)
Weathering hypothesis: blacks experience accelerated health loss as consequence of continually
dealing with racism has neg. consequences on multiple biophysiological systems
3 leading causes of mortality: coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke mortality rates have declined
But leading causes =/= actual causes; actual causes of death = tobacco use, poor diet, physical
inactivity, alcohol consumption, microbial agents, toxins, motor vehicle accidents
Activities of daily living (ADL): bathing, dressing, toileting, walking, feeding
Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL): personal self-care, preparing meals, shopping,
managing money, telephone, housework
Mutation in gene for cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CEPT) (plays imp. role in reverse cholesterol
transport, lipoproteins in blood carry cholesterol from peripheral tissues -> liver, which takes it outward)
CEPT mutation increases size of lipproteins, less likely o have hypertension and cardiovascular disease
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