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Words of Wisdom by Nancy Kolsti
Winter 2005      


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Restaurants for Boomers

Chronic illness

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Chronic illness

Baby Boomers will live longer than previous generations, thanks to advances in health care, but they may be the first generation to live a decade or more with chronic illnesses they will develop as they age, says Charles Guarnaccia, UNT associate professor of psychology.

A new government study recently showed that deaths from heart disease, cancer and strokes continue to drop, but it also shows that half of Americans ages 55 to 64 -- including the oldest of the Baby Boomers -- have high blood pressure, and two in five are obese. Unless Baby Boomers change their lifestyles to become more active every day and eat healthy foods, they'll be at great risk of developing Type II diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, which will disable them.

"The good news is that these diseases are treatable,” Guarnaccia says. “But people will be living with them for 10, 20 or 30 years."


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