It's not uncommon for seniors to face health issues as they get older. Everything from high blood pressure and Alzheimer's to heart disease and cancer can disrupt their path toward healthy aging, and new data released by the National Center for Health Statistics found that many seniors may be managing more than one serious health condition at a time, The New York Times reports.
The findings are culled from an analysis of more than 733,000 residents at nursing facilities around the United States. Researchers determined that about 24 percent of the residents have both Alzheimer's and high blood pressure. Furthermore, 9 percent of those studied had Alzheimer's, high blood pressure and heart disease. Aside from posing challenges for patients themselves, managing multiple chronic conditions is also difficult for senior care providers.
"Much of the way we practice medicine is looking at disease by disease," Dr. Cynthia Boyd, a professor of geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins, told the Times. "We aren't doing enough thinking about how to add them together and really integrate care."
This isn't the first time researchers have shed light on how many older adults are living with multiple conditions. A 2012 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of adults 65 and older with at least two chronic diseases has been on the rise over the last 10 years.