As baby boomers continue to get older and reach retirement age at a rate of thousands every day, health industry experts are becoming increasingly concerned with the prospect of facing an aging population that has more and more health problems. According to a recent study, baby boomers are far more likely to live longer than previous generations, while at the same time having chronic diseases that lower their quality of life significantly.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, shows that baby boomers are much more likely to go into retirement age with chronic problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Even though baby boomers are less likely to smoke and are thus less likely to have a heart attack and emphysema, they are also more likely to have significant physical disabilities because of their unhealthy lifestyles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Americans already spend over $300 billion to treat diabetes and obesity alone. As boomers age and more and more of them are diagnosed with these chronic conditions, those costs are expected balloon.
Yet experts also say that it isn’t too late to begin to address these problems. Boomers who are overweight, pre-diabetic, or who are already experiencing high blood pressure can do a lot for themselves simply by adjusting their diets and getting more regular exercise. Taking these steps now, as opposed to waiting for medical treatments later, can significantly improve the quality-of-life boomers experience in their sunset years.