7 Common health problems affecting elderly Kenyans

7 common health problems affecting elderly Kenyans

Elderly Kenyans are faced with a myriad of health issues. As we grow old, our health may start failing and we have to face the health challenges of aging.

Symptoms of diseases in the elderly may be different from those in the younger people and these may impact the quality of life of older adults.

Symptoms may be less severe and sometimes these may not be that obvious. Therefore, physical disease in the elderly may be more difficult to detect.

For example, in case of heart attack in elderly people, an elderly heart attack victim may have no chest pain because of age-related nerve changes.

Health issues affecting elderly Kenyans

1. Cardiovascular diseases

As you age, so do your blood vessels. They become less flexible, making it harder for blood to move through them easily.

Fatty deposits called plaques also collect along your artery walls and slow the blood flow from the heart.

They become prone to various cardiovascular diseases  including hypertension, stroke, angina, heart failure, angina and heart attack.

2. Cancer


As women age, the rate of  endometrial cancer increases. While in men the risk of prostate cancer also  increases with age.

3. Bladder control

Bladder control

Incontinence is common problem of many elderly people associated with aging. In males, this may be due to enlargement of prostate gland.

4. Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome


Obesity is related to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast and colon cancer, gall bladder disease, and high blood pressure.

Many adults  aged 60 and older have a combination of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, which puts people at increased risk for developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.

5. Arthritis


Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis.

It is more likely to develop as people age.  Arthritis affects nearly half the elderly population and is a leading cause of disability

6. Loss of vision and hearing

Old man with specs

They may suffer from age related eye diseases including macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma which affect millions of people aged 40 and above worldwide.

Hearing loss takes a toll on the quality of life and can lead to depression and withdrawal from social activities.

7. Other health issues

old man

This may include constipation, loss of natural teeth which hinders easy eating, sleep disorder,  malnutrition and dementia.

Elderly people are also very prone to flu, pneumonia and  falls as they are more susceptible to losing their balance which may lead to bruising and fracturing of  bones.


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