Jul 22, 2019 | Updated: 09:15 AM EDT

Study Discovers Five Health Problems Per Person

Jul 02, 2019 09:54 AM EDT

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Study Discovers Five Health Problems per Person
(Photo : Image by rawpixel from Pixabay)

According to the experts, consulting a health professional for a full health screening - even when someone feels healthy - from around age 40 enables individuals to make changes when problems first begin.

Researchers at the Flinders University made a study on a group of 561 seemingly healthy adults, and they discovered that there was an average of five unidentified health problems per person, including undiagnosed blood pressure or early hearing loss. The 21 domains tested hearing, memory, lung function, foot sensation, balance, diet, and physical activity.

Irrespective of the decade of life, in the 561 seemingly healthy community-dwelling adults aged 40 to 75 years, the average number of health issues was five. The Chair of Restorative Care in Ageing and the Flinders Strategic Professor Sue Gordon said that individual in their middle years is being sucked into the black hole of aging. Little reversible changes in health are accumulating unnoticed while people are time poor and their lives consumed by work and parenting.

In most cases, people don't notice the problem until it is too late for them to self-manage, and vastly more expensive to address. Some of the health issues include;

  • 32 percent experiencing memory and cognition problems
  • 34 percent with undiagnosed functional hearing loss
  • 30 percent diagnosed with high blood pressure

The good news?

With proper care, doctors can reverse many of these changes, and six months after getting their report; many can adopt health advice and experience better health. Professor Gordon said that this situation shows that individualized screening and self-management recommendations do enhance health, even among people who feel healthy. Also, it may save lives and money later on.

The scientists know quite a little about the trajectory of aging through the middle years, known as the 'black hole' of aging. Professor Gordon noted that the call for Australia to increase national spending of just 1.5 percent of the health budget on health promotion and prevention services. He explained that Australia must shift from an over-burdened reactive system to proactive best health through middle and older life.

Though genes and injuries alter health, lifestyle and health self-management choices are within people's control, however only if they know what areas of their health are declining. And with directed care and self-management, many issues can be reversed.

With the input from experts in population, public and digital health, the research aims to empower and encourage people to stay well, stay in touch and get the most out of life while avoiding frailty and reducing demand on hospital and health services.

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