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Adult Health & Aging. Normal Physical Development in Early & Middle Adulthood. Early Adulthood, peak muscle tone & joint function Middle Adulthood – gradual changes, lose height, gain weight, in 40s & 50s skin sags, wrinkles, age spots, hair thins, thicker finger- and toenails, yellow teeth.

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Adult Health & Aging

Normal physical development in early middle adulthood
Normal Physical Development in Early & Middle Adulthood

  • Early Adulthood, peak muscle tone & joint function

  • Middle Adulthood – gradual changes,

    lose height, gain weight, in 40s & 50s skin sags, wrinkles, age spots, hair thins, thicker finger- and toenails, yellow teeth

Changes in middle adulthood continued
Changes in Middle Adulthood (continued)

  • Sarcopenia – age-related loss of muscle mass & strength

    • Lose 1-2% per year starting at age 50

  • Exercise can help to reduce this loss

  • Also lose bone from the late 30’s; this accelerates in the 50’s

Changes in middle adulthood cardiovascular
Changes in Middle Adulthood -Cardiovascular

  • Cholesterol increases

    • LDL – leads to atherosclerosis

  • Blood Pressure increases; sharply for women at menopause

  • Metabolic disorder – hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, low HDL, weight gain (Part of normal aging?)

    • Weight loss & exercise help

  • Lungs become less elastic

  • Adult health reproductive system
    Adult Health - Reproductive System

    • The 20’s are ideal for reproduction. Risks of miscarriage and chromosomal disorders are reduced.

    • First births to women in their 30’s have increased in the past two decades

    • Dramatic rise in fertility problems in the mid-thirties (14 to 26%)

    Changes in middle adulthood sexuality
    Changes in Middle Adulthood - Sexuality

    • Climacteric – loss of fertility

    • Menopause – ceasing of menstrual cycles (average age 52)

      • Drop in estrogen, hot flashes, nausea, fatigue, rapid heartbeat

    • Gradual decline for men (no andropause)

    Middle adulthood illness disability
    Middle Adulthood: Illness & Disability

    • Cancer & cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of death. Cancer alone among women.

    • Motor vehicle collisions decline, falls resulting in fractures & death nearly double.

    • Personality traits that magnify stress, especially hostility and anger, are serious threats to health.

    Cardiovascular disease
    Cardiovascular Disease

    • First detected factors may be high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis (a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries).

    • Heart attack: blockage of blood supply to an area of the heart (50% die before reaching the hospital, 15% during treatment)

    • Other conditions include arrhythmias and angina pectoris

    Cancer middle adulthood
    Cancer – Middle Adulthood

    • The death rate multiplies tenfold from early to middle adulthood.

    • Lung cancer has dropped in men (fewer smoke) and increased in women.

    • Cancer occurs when a cell‘s genetic program is disrupted, leading to uncontrolled growth.

    • Damage to the p53 gene is involved in 60% of cancers. This gene stops defective DNA from multiplying.

    • Having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumor-suppressing gene is protection against breast cancer.


    • 40% of people with cancer are cured.

    • Breast cancer is most prevalent for women, prostate cancer for men.

    • Lung cancer is next, followed by colon/rectal cancer.

    Adult onset diabetes
    Adult-Onset Diabetes

    • Causes abnormally high levels of blood glucose

    • Incidence doubles from middle to late adulthood

    • Effects 10% of the elderly

    • Inactivity and abdominal fat deposits greatly increase risks

    • Treated with controlled diet, exercise, and weight loss


    • Osteoarthritis: most common and involves deteriorating cartilage on the ends of bones of frequently used joints

    • Rheumatoid arthritis: an autoimmune response leading to inflammation of connective tissue, especially the membranes that line the joints

    • Effects 45% of American men and 52% of women over 65. Rises to 70% in women at age 85.

    Substance abuse addiction

    • Smoking is related to many deaths

      • 30% of cancer deaths

      • 21% of heart disease deaths

      • 82% of chronic pulmonary disease deaths

    • 13 million people in the U.S. are alcoholics

      • Yearly 25.000 people are killed and 1.5 million injured by drunk drivers

      • Alcohol is implicated in 65% of aggressive acts by males against females

    Substance abuse alcohol
    Substance Abuse: Alcohol

    • Chronic alcohol use is associated with:

      • Liver, cardiovascular, and pancreatic diseases.

      • Inflammation of the intestinal tract

      • Bone marrow problems

      • Blood and joint disorders

      • Brain damage

    Substance abuse among older adults
    Substance Abuse among Older Adults

    • May be an invisible epidemic.

    • Probably involves prescription drugs.

    • Frequent falls, inadequate nutrition, excessive sedation, depression, congestive heart failure may be drug-related

    Health disease in older adulthood
    Health & Disease in Older Adulthood

    • Generally a continuation and intensification of problems that began in middle adulthood.

    Physical disabilities
    Physical Disabilities

    • Cardiovascular illness and cancer increase dramatically and remain the leading causes of death

    • Respiratory diseases also rise sharply

      • Emphysema, mostly from smoking

      • Pneumonia, 50 types

    • Stroke is the 4th most common killer

      • Hemmorage or blockage of blood flow in the brain

    Chronic conditions of older adulthood
    Chronic Conditions of Older Adulthood



    Hearing impairment

    Heart disease





    • Major age-related bone loss

    • 12 to 20 % of patients die within a year of a major break such as a hip

    • Patients are advised to:

      • Take calcium and vitamin D

      • Engage in weight-bearing exercise

      • Take HRT/ERT

      • Take bone-strengthening medications

    Unintentional injury
    Unintentional Injury

    • At age 65 and older, the death rate from unintentional injuries is at an all-time high

    • Due to MV accidents and falls

    • Older adults have higher rates of traffic violations, accidents, and fatalities per mile driven than any other age group

    • 30% of people over 65 and 40% of those over 80 have experienced a fall in the last year

    • Declines in vision, hearing and mobility make it harder to avoid hazards and keep one‘s balance