An extensive collaborative study done by US and UK researchers finally released their results recently. What they discovered may be of particular interest to those of us concerned about living a healthy lifestyle. They found that adults in their 60s with a very low risk of heart disease were also 85% less likely to experience severe frailty.
“Persons aged 60–69 years with near-ideal cardiovascular risk factor profiles have substantially lower incidence of geriatric conditions and frailty. Optimizing cardiovascular disease risk factors may substantially reduce the burden of morbidity in later life.”
- Janice Atkins, et al.
We used to assume that frailty was a sign of aging, but this recent research indicates that it may be preventable. This means that frailty may be avoidable in many cases and that we can start working on reducing the likelihood of it years before it occurs.
In an interview with the Eureka Alert, Doctor George Kuchel from UConn said:
"Individuals with untreated cardiovascular disease or other common chronic diseases appear to age faster and with more frailty. In the past, we viewed aging and these common chronic diseases as being both inevitable and unrelated to each other. Now our growing body of scientific evidence on aging shows what we have previously considered as inevitable might be prevented or delayed through earlier and better recognition and treatment of cardiac disease.
A heart-healthy lifestyle with proper exercise, nutrition, weight management, and medical care may not only keep your heart in good shape, but it could mean reduced frailty. In addition, a healthy heart has been linked with the reduction of other conditions that we wouldn’t normally think of as related. Those with low cardiac risk also have a much lower chance of having issues with falls, fractures, dementia, chronic pain, and incontinence.
One of the co-researchers, Doctor João Delgado, spoke with Eureka Alert as well:
"This study indicates that frailty and other age-related diseases could be prevented and significantly reduced in older adults. Getting our heart risk factors under control could lead to much healthier old ages.”
That sounds like good news to us!
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