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7 Expensive Well being Issues That Strike After Age 50

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As we age, health problems often arise that threaten to tarnish our golden years. Treating some of these diseases and conditions can be expensive.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the cost of such care. Here are some of the health issues that can occur after age 50 – and how to reduce the cost of care if you are diagnosed.

arthritis

Arthritis painNew Africa / Shutterstock.com

Arthritis affects approximately 54.4 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC adds that adults with arthritis paid an average of $ 2,117 in additional medical expenses in 2013.

How to cut costs. The Arthritis Foundation has a website that outlines ways to trim the tab for arthritis treatment.

osteoporosis

Broken boneLaura vd Broek / Shutterstock.com

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, around 54 million Americans have low bone density, or osteoporosis. In women over 50, 1 in 2 breaks a bone due to the disease. For men of this age, the number is 1 in 4.

How to cut costs. One study found that osteoporosis treatment cost the nation $ 22 billion in 2008. Prescription drugs are widely used to treat this condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about less expensive generic drugs.

Weight-bearing exercises like weight lifting, walking, or running, and activities like tennis are also great ways to build bone density and cost little or nothing.

Finally, relatively cheap vitamin D supplements can help your body use calcium and strengthen your bones. Ask your doctor if they are right for you.

diabetes

diabetesVladimir Mulder / Shutterstock.com

More than 34 million Americans have diabetes. Your risk of the disease increases as you get older. More than a quarter of adults aged 65 and over have diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes costs the nation $ 327 billion annually. Patients diagnosed with diabetes bear the brunt of these costs. The Mayo Clinic found that the price of insulin for patients in the US is higher than in other countries.

How to cut costs. Testing for diabetes early on is key to keeping care costs under control. As the disease progresses, treatment can become more dangerous and significantly more expensive.

If you have diabetes, your costs are lower if your health insurance covers your treatments. ADA’s Diabetes Forecast magazine has some tips to help convince your insurer to help pay for diabetes devices and accessories.

Finally, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you control diabetes. In some cases, your efforts may be so effective that you no longer need expensive treatment. The ADA has tips for eating and exercise on its website.

obesity

jakub-cejpek / Shutterstock.com

Over the years, our waists expand. According to a 2007-2010 survey report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of adults aged 65 and over are obese. The CDC, in a 2009 report, estimated that an overweight person spent 42% more on health care – an average of $ 1,429 per person – than people of normal weight.

How to cut costs. Losing weight greatly reduces the risk of being diagnosed with many costly health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and osteoarthritis.

Switching to a healthy diet and starting an exercise program are inexpensive ways to avoid the costs associated with obesity.

heart problems

heartsiam.pukkato / Shutterstock.com

Put simply, heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in the United States

This condition includes many problems related to atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arteries due to the build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances. Heart disease cost the nation $ 219 billion from 2014 to 2015, according to the CDC.

How to cut costs. Various diseases are closely related to a higher risk of developing heart disease. They include:

  • high blood pressure
  • High levels of LDL cholesterol
  • Smoke

Better diet and regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels. Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to improve your health and save money.

Declining oral health

dentistDmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock.com

About 26% of Americans age 65 and older have eight or fewer teeth, according to the CDC. This is a sobering reminder that our oral health deteriorates as we age. The CDC notes that conditions such as severe periodontal disease and mouth and throat cancer mainly affect older adults.

Treating such conditions can be expensive. According to the American Dental Association, the cost of dental spending in 2018 was $ 136 billion.

How to cut costs. Regular visits to the dentist are the best way to identify conditions early if their treatment is more cost-effective. The ADA notes that some people should only see their dentist once or twice a year, while others may need more frequent visits. Check with your dentist to find the right schedule for you.

Dentist visits can be costly if you don’t have dental insurance. The ADA website offers help in finding cheaper care.

Shingles

Shinglesa photo / Shutterstock.com

This disease is likely to be far cheaper than others on the list, but it deserves attention because it is so common in the population over 50. In fact, half of all cases of shingles are diagnosed in people aged 60 and over.

And shingles-related complications – from blisters to persistent pain known as post-therapeutic neuralgia, or PHN – can be a drag on your wallet.

How to cut costs. Fortunately, there is a simple and inexpensive solution to shingles: vaccination. As we reported, a new vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing shingles in people aged 50 and over. For more information, see “Over 50? The CDC says you need these 4 vaccines. “

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, sometimes we get compensation for clicking links in our stories.

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