Epidemiology And Its Effects On The Elderly Essay

Epidemiology And Its Effects On The Elderly Essay

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Epidemiology is the study of diseases, including the incidence and distribution of the diseases, within a population. America and the developed world as a whole has switched from a constant presence of infectious diseases and diseases brought about from improper hygiene to an increase of chronic diseases and stress related illnesses (Lloyd-Sherlock, 2005). There is also a noticeable swelling number of elderly as a result from the increased quality of life; this requires the epidemiology and healthcare system to adjust to match the aging population’s needs. Many of those in the senior population rely on health insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid, to help pay for their healthcare, any changes or disturbance in the insurance can affect the elderly on a wide scale. This particular age group also relies heavily on the quality of care they receive. These variables all combine to shape the world of epidemiology in relation to the elderly.

Studies done on those aged 65 and older in America has shown the epidemiologic shift in the leading causes of death, some include cancer, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and arthritis. It was noticed within the senior population there is a high rate of comorbidity, the co-occurrence of multiple chronic diseases (Ferrucci, Giallauria, & Guralnik, 2008). The rate of these chronic conditions has increased in the past few decades as the rate of infectious diseases are decreased in the aged population. The shift in disease patterns in America shifts the focus of epidemiology as well as the main causes of death in society. “ Among the 60-and-over population, noncommunicable diseases already account for more than 87 percent of the burden in low-, middle-, and high-income countries” (National Institu...


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...unction of the epidemiology field is to explain diseases, risk factors, injuries, and disabilities that have high impact on the older population. Challenges in epidemiology include how to relate to the older population and have preventative measures and treatments in place for diseases and conditions that are specific to them. The increasing number of the elderly population, increasing life expectancy, and issues in the healthcare system such as lack of health insurance and healthcare professionals can all change the epidemiology among seniors. The senior population will continue to grow and live longer with all these advancement in technologies which will cause the topic of epidemiology specific to them to be more even more vital. The healthcare system is ever changing and in the imminent future the focus will have to shift to and accommodate the elderly in America.

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