Can you die from old age? – Health

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Once we say an older individual has “died in their sleep”, what can we mean?

There isn’t a such factor as “dying of previous age”, and you will not see this term written on a dying certificate.

Relatively, it is a colloquial approach by which we confer with the demise of an older individual where the cause is just not apparent or well-understood.

A decline in physique techniques

As we age, the probability of suffering from a variety of medical problems increases because the body accumulates injury, cells not restore themselves, and the immune system gets weaker.

These medical issues might embrace heart problems, low or hypertension, or neurodegenerative illnesses like Parkinson’s illness or Alzheimer’s.

And these circumstances in turn have an effect on necessary methods in the physique, like brain perform and mobility, says Dr Tuly Rosenfeld, geriatrician and Affiliate Professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

Take, for example, an individual with Alzheimer’s illness. Dr Rosenfeld says the disease is related to an issue chewing or swallowing, which may cause problems that result in demise.

“The rationale that many older individuals quietly die of their sleep is as a result of their swallowing methods do not work, they inhale meals, fluid, saliva into their lungs, they catch pneumonia they usually die,” he says.

And these illnesses also affect mobility, making older individuals more more likely to fall, injure themselves, and find yourself in hospital — the place they are susceptible to infections they will not struggle off.

What is written on a demise certificate?

So it is never previous age alone that causes someone to die. Fairly, it’s the growing probability of problems arising from the circumstances that accumulate with age.

Docs won’t all the time know the precise reason for dying in an aged individual as a result of they could have overlapping circumstances that work together in several and delicate methods, making it troublesome to find out one official trigger, Dr Rosenfeld says.

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