Chronic diseases have emerged in recent decades as the major cluster of health concerns for people all over the developed world.
In general terms, a chronic disease or illness, is a condition that is slow in progression, long in duration and void of spontaneous resolution—and it often limits the function, productivity and quality of life of someone who lives with it.
According to the WHO, ‘Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person. They are of long duration and generally slow progression. The four main types of noncommunicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.
In Singapore, Cardiovascular diseases contribute the highest to mortality with 31% of deaths ( (% of total deaths, all ages, both sexes).
In the past few centuries, extraordinary advances in developed countries in medicine and public health, as well as economic growth leading to more widely accessible social welfare programs, have changed the chronic disease landscape dramatically.
Hygienic and sanitary advances have prevented many previously common infectious diseases. Immunizations and clinical and community interventions have substantially controlled many past causes of chronic illness, such as tuberculosis and polio.
Pharmacotherapy has enabled many persons with chronic mental illness to live in their communities. Chronic cardiovascular diseases have become less disabling in many important ways.
Therapeutic approaches have improved the function and overall health for some persons with chronic illness through advances in corrective surgery, new approaches in analgesia, better rehabilitation including physical and occupational therapy, improved nutrition management and adaptation of home and community environments for functionally impaired persons.
However, these advances have been compromised by parallel increases in physical inactivity, unhealthful eating, obesity, tobacco use and other chronic disease risk factors. Chronic disease has now emerged as a major public health problem; it threatens not only population health, but also social and economic welfare.
Cardiovascular disease, many cancers, stroke and chronic lung disease are the most common causes of death. But there are also other chronic diseases—such as arthritis, asthma, depression, and epilepsy—having less substantial contributions to mortality, yet can severely diminish the health-related quality of life of the individuals who live with them.Plus, their effective disease prevention programs are not well developed.
The prevalence of MCCs increases substantially among adults over age 65 and the relationship between aging and chronic illness is complex and variable. With aging, chronic diseases become more prevalent:
The traditional approach to managing chronic disease has been to intervene only after the disease has developed. This intervention often consisted of the application of expensive technologic approaches that attempt to repair the damage once it has begun.
While huge improvements in health have been made over the years as a result of these technological advances, this has been offset by increases in physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, obesity and tobacco use. Many of the conditions that dominate health care spending are preventable.
Age Management Medicine seeks to change the disease-based focus on treatment to a health-based approach to prevention of chronic disease. While aging cannot be prevented, it can be managed. While the age-related loss of functional reserve in the major organ systems cannot be stopped, it can be attenuated. Maintenance of a high level of functionality results in a higher quality of life (QOL) for the older individual.
In contrast, the disease-based approach often results in extending longevity but with a low quality of life. Certainly the goal of age-management medicine includes living longer, but more importantly, it seeks to live well longer.
To achieve this goal one needs to refocus attention away from what is normal to what is optimal. While it is certainly normal to accumulate co-morbidities as a person ages, it is certainly not optimal and is absolutely not inevitable. By focusing our attention on superior nutrition, daily exercise, optimal hormone management and nutra-scriptive supplementation, we can achieve optimal health and a high-quality life that can be maintained to our final days.
For more information on the Optimagenics Age Management Program, please visit www.optimagenics.com
Optimagencis Age Management Program