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What are some common illnesses suffered by older women?

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Quick Answer

The risk of developing several serious illnesses, including osteoporosis, obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease increases as women age, according to WebMD. The risk of most types of cancer also increases with age, with elderly women seeing a particular rise in endometrial cancer.

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As of 2015, almost 44 million adults age 50 and older suffer from osteoporosis and low bone mass, and most of them are women, states WebMD. However, the National Osteoporosis Association reports that osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging, and it is both preventable and treatable. Dr. Sharon Brangman, spokesman for the American Geriatrics Society, recommends avoiding tobacco and alcohol, limiting foods with high acidic content, and getting plenty of vitamin D and calcium. Brangnam also stressed the importance of continued gynecological exams among elderly women, as risk of endometrial cancer increases significantly as women age.

Roughly three-fourths of adults aged 60 and older are overweight or obese, and 40 percent have a combination of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, putting them at increased risk for developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, according to WebMD. Cardiovascular diseases, or diseases of the heart and blood vessels, affect more than one-third of women between the ages of 45 and 54, and risk increases with age.

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