[widget id=”ad_unit-10″]ad_unit-10[/widget]Aging is a biological process of life that no one can escape from. As people grow older, the risks of developing diseases increase. This is because of the declining ability of the immune system to guard the body from illness-causing substances. Cigarette smoking is one of the major causes of mortality among seniors. For those who are looking to extend their lives and put back their vigor, quitting smoking today is indispensable.
Here are 10 risks of smoking among seniors:
- Smoking has been linked to an increase risk of developing cataract. One of the most common symptoms of aging is eye problems. Cataracts are the number one cause of visual loss not just in the United States but all over the world. Studies show that smokers are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop cataracts.
- In the United States, there are around 850,000 cases of fracture among people ages 65 and above. 300,000 of which are hip fractures. Smoking is a risk factor for hip fracture, which causes death among seniors. In the US, the total spending on hip fracture treatments amount to 10 billion each year.
- Seniors who smoke are in the danger of heart attack and stroke. Aging results to damage in cells. And because the body has grown weaker than before (when a person is still young), cell repair could be difficult if not impossible among the elderly, particularly among those who are physically unfit. Smoking steals away the oxygen from various organs in the body especially the brain, which may consequently lead to heart attack or stroke.
- Smoking is associated with the three major causes of death among seniors: heart disease, stroke and cancer. These three are responsible for 70% of deaths in people between the age of 65 and 74.
- Seniors who smoke spend more time seeing their doctors than doing what they loved to do. On an average, smokers see their doctors 6 times a year. This does not just deny seniors of their right to enjoy time, relax and enjoy life, but also takes away a significant portion of their savings.
- Seniors who smoke find it difficult to exercise. Physical activity is crucial to maintain a healthy body. Seniors are encouraged to engage in moderate forms of exercise. However, smoking affects their breathing abilities, muscles and energy levels, pushing them to live a sedentary life and exposes them to more serious ailments.
- Smoking causes COPD in seniors. The rate of COPD is highest among seniors, ages 65 and above. COPD makes them weaker and aggravates their lungs. This disease kills a significant number of seniors every year.
- Smokers are 2 times more likely to die between ages 65 and 84 compared to those who never smoked in their lives. Study shows that smoking decreases a person’s life expectancy by 10 years.
- Smokers are three times more likely to die between the age of 45 and 64 than those who don’t smoke or have never smoked in their lives.
- Seniors who smoke are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, including depression, anxiety disorders, and irritability.