Advances in global health and science have assisted the disease trends. It has become a never ending mission to protect public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease as well as injury and disability. There have been noted demographic changes in the past 50 years that have resulted from changing trends in child, maternal, and adult death rates (CDC, 2011). Among these are rises in obesity and aging. As these health concerns continue to climb we will have a greater impact on the delivery of services from health care. The importance of these trends assists in prevention and protecting one’s self from new diseases and illnesses as well as old ones. One of the noted trends in healthcare is aging. Focusing on the world’s age composition is one way to understand the impacts and changes in further years to come.
According to the US Census Bureau (2013), the elderly population age 65 and older during the twentieth century composed one in every twenty five individuals. In the twenty first century, this same population composed one in every 8 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). This showed that the life expectancy of humans has become longer. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2013), the population in the United States in the year of 2010 was 308.7 million. This indicated a near 10 percent increase over the past ten years. This same 2010 census showed that the elderly population composed 13 percent as opposed to only being 9 percent in the year of 2000. The notable change was determined that there were fewer people in the 65-75 age range but there were more individuals in the 75-85 age ranges. It proved that there were more increasingly elderly individuals reaching into their seventies and even eighties.
This increase in age showed that life expectancy and advances in medicine have contributed to individuals living longer lives. This would indicate that as long as medicines and healthcare continued to advance, so would the elderly population in growth. Environmental factors directly contribute to population growth. For one, as the population continues to grow in size, the natural resources and undeveloped land becomes utilized to accommodate this expansion. Clearing the land and making it more desirable offers more room to continue additions in the population. This in turn offers an increase in the resources that can be utilized for healthcare and science in the creation of vaccines and medications. This increased development has also led to the finding of new resources such as unknown species of plants and animals. These newer found resources can be tested to see if they offer any properties in the expansion of healthcare and medications.
The Medical Plant Consortium (2013) states, “Our major goal in this project has been to capture blue prints of medicinal plants for the advancement of drug discovery and development.” The medical plant consortium further adds well known medicines such as digoxin used for cardiac muscle stimulation comes from the fox glove plant and some of the chemotherapy medications such as vinchristine come from the periwinkle plant. Another noted environmental factor is that the population density has grown over the years. In addition to the population growth, land clearing has been increasing for the purpose of crops farmed for human consumption. The combination of needed developed land for farm crops and the growing population has only contributed to more land being cleared for further discoveries. Some of the changing demographics have been an increase in the population density. Over the years due to advancements in medications and healthcare improving the human life expectancy, there is an indicated increase of individuals per square mile than years prior.
This is due to the slow development of land but also human life expectancy increasing. January 2011 ushered in the first of approximately 77 million baby boomers born from 1946 through 1964 and surging towards the gates of retirement. Each year 3.5 baby boomers turn 55.” This increase indicates that by 2030 there will be more than twice in the elderly population that in the year 2000 (Transgenerational, 2009). The aging trend is likely to experience an increase in the health issues of today. As we live longer there is more wear and tear to our bodies that developed the need for further medical assistance. As we age our blood vessels and arteries become stiffer causing the heart to have to work harder to function. The longer the heart has to function under this strain, the more likely complications will occur. These factors are directly linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. In addition with aging, ones bones tend to lose bone mass. This not only weakens them increasing the risk for fracture but effects muscle function. Over time muscles lose flexibility and strength.
These factors contribute to arthritis. According to the CDC (2013), one of ever two persons will knee arthritis and one in every four will develop hip arthritis. This clearly supports that disease and illness will become more likely as we age. In order to reduce health related problems in aging one should remain fit and incorporate an exercise regimen into their daily life. In addition eating a healthy diet, not smoking, managing stress and taking a daily supplement can help prolong age related diseases (CDC, 2013). Currently the obesity rate in the United States is nearly two of every three persons (Surgeon general, 2009). Research has shown that the united states have the highest population of obesity. A report done from July 2013 shown that the united stated passed the obesity rates of Mexico (Medical News Today, 2013). The U.S. obesity rate has grown from 13 percent in 1960 to 32 percent in 2004 (surgeon general, 2009).
1- Centers of Disease Control (CDC), 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/distrnds.html 2- Department of Health and Human services, 2012. http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Aging_Statistics/index.aspx 3- U.S. Census Bureau, 2013. http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/statbriefs/agebrief.html 4- U.S. Census Bureau, 2011. http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf 5- PHYS.org, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2011-12-medicinal-benefits.html 6- Transgenerational- design matters, 2009. http://transgenerational.org/aging/demographics.htm 7- Mayo clinic, 2013. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aging/HA00040 8- Surgeon general, 2009. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/news/testimony/obesity07162003.html 9- Medical News Today, 2013. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265556.php