Your body starts to change drastically as you reach the elder years. Once you reach 60, your senses get duller, your bones get weaker and your heart doesn’t pump blood as effectively as before.
Heart problems are common in the elderly and are the number one cause of death for people aged 60 and above.
How do older adults protect themselves from heart conditions after 60? Today, we discuss some of the most common heart conditions people encounter after they turn 60. We will also go over the usual ways of tracking these conditions to ensure early detection and treatment.
The List of Most Common Heart Conditions After 60
Most of the time, heart problems in older adults don’t come as a sudden and unexpected illness. More often than not, the culprit is the gradual weakening of the heart due to aging. As a person ages, the body’s cell regeneration function becomes less efficient. People who are older generally produce new cells that aren’t as good as the cells they produced when they were younger.
Our organs contain cells that are in a constant cycle of destruction and creation. However, the quality of the cells produced diminishes as the person ages. So by the time a person is in their 60s, their heart is made up of cells that are inferior in quality compared to the cells of younger individuals. While you can slow down cell degeneration through healthy lifestyle choices, there is a limit to what it can do.
Because the heart of a person in their 60s is not as efficient, it cannot keep up and adjust to certain situations.
For example, if a person in their 30s experiences fears, their heart rate goes up because of adrenaline. They usually feel dizzy or tired after the experience, but can bounce back easily. Someone in their 60s cannot do the same. When the brain signals their heart to beat and pump blood faster in response to a situation, their heart may not be able to keep up. Older people under duress may suffer a heart attack simply because their hearts cannot keep up with the demands of their bodies.
While there is no escaping the gradual weakening of a person’s heart, healthy lifestyle choices can slow down the process.
Regular health checkups are a great way to determine if a person is at risk for heart failure. Luckily there are different senior-friendly heart health monitoring devices and apps, which they can use on their own at their home while remotely staying connected to a doctor.
Stroke is another common heart condition that elderly people face. In fact, around 66 percent of hospitalized cases of stroke are people aged 65 and above.
There are two types of stroke that affect adults in their 60s – Ischemic and Hemorrhagic stroke.
Ischemic strokes occur when a blood clot forms that is severe enough to block normal blood flow to different organs, such as the brain. Usually, blood clots because the blood vessels become too narrow due to the buildup of fats and cholesterol. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain breaks. This type of stroke is extremely damaging – it can result in the destruction of brain cells and excess pressure inside the brain.
You can prevent Ischemic strokes by tracking your cholesterol levels and monitoring your blood pressure.
People in their 60s who are at risk for Ischemic strokes include those who are obese and those who observe unhealthy eating habits. Haemorrhagic strokes are harder to track because blood vessels in the brain can burst suddenly.
You can distinguish the early warning signs, so you can take your loved one to the hospital as soon as possible:
- Loss of consciousness;
- If the person is conscious, they may look confused or dazed;
- Sudden inability to speak and see in one/both eyes;
- Cannot walk or balance themselves;
- Sudden headaches;
- Numbness in the face or limbs.
The way to track this type of stroke is by regular blood pressure monitoring because high blood pressure is a risk factor.
One of the common causes of Haemorrhagic stroke is an aneurysm rupturing. Fortunately, aneurysms can be detected using an MRI.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease happens when the coronary arteries become clogged due to a plaque buildup. This buildup can cut off blood supply to the various arteries in the heart.
When a person’s body cannot successfully pump oxygen-rich blood into the heart, it can result in death.
This disease is dangerous, especially to people above the age of 60 because it is a silent killer.
Many people don’t realize they have coronary heart disease until they suffer from a heart attack.
Coronary heart disease is a common heart problem for older adults because plaque slowly builds up through the years. Once a person is in their 60s, the buildup is usually thick enough to cause blockage.
Fortunately, coronary heart disease is easy to track. Experts recommend taking a risk assessment for the disease regularly while you are young to prevent excess buildup in the future. Doctors diagnose the disease through blood pressure monitoring, Electrocardiograms, and routine blood tests. Those with suspected coronary heart disease are then asked to undergo a coronary calcium scan. The calcium scan checks for calcium buildup in the coronary arteries.
Thanks to modern technology, it is now possible to track and monitor heart conditions after 60 before they become problematic. As people reach their 60s, their body starts being more sluggish and less efficient at carrying out tasks. This is why elderly people are encouraged to start working less and start enjoying life more. Make sure that you or your loved ones enjoy life to the fullest by keeping heart problems at bay.
This can be done efficiently with regular checkups and health monitoring, observing healthy lifestyle choices, and availing of medical services no matter how small the problem seems to be.