People living more than 70 years are healthier and free of diseases: Study

New Delhi. Old age is often described as a synonym for diseases but a new study reveals that people living more than 70 years are healthier and also able to ward off diseases.““It was found in the study that people living beyond 70 years have been maintaining a balanced lifestyle in their lives, their physical and mental health is relatively better, and if they continue to lead an active life, then they can live a longer life. Of these people, one-fourth (around 25 per cent) are free from diseases. The retrospective cohort study was conducted on 46 patients of age more than 70 years, who underwent Simultaneous Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty (SBTKA) at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi between 2002-2012.

The Study was conducted by Dr (Prof) Raju Vaishya, Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals. Dr. Vaishya was recently invited to present his research work at the prestigious conference of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons at Orlando, USA. This conference was attended by more than 30,000 Orthopaedic Surgeons from all over the world.“““In a carefully selected patients in this series, we found significant improvements in the functional score of the knees. None of the patients died either during a hospital stay or within one year of the index surgery of SBTKA. No case developed deep surgical site infection and required a revision TKA within one year after the index surgery. Of the 46 patients, only seven died after five to six years die to reasons others than the operation. The remaining patients are still surviving. Of these patients, several of them are alive for the past 10 years. Also, a 93-year-old patient, who created a world record for SBTKA, will be completing hundred years of his life in April this year,” said Dr. Vaishya.““It was found that around 80 per cent of the patients having their age beyond 70 years were found completely fit for anesthesia before undergoing surgery.  Of the, the grading of 46 per cent patients was found 1 or 2 grading while the grading of 20 per cent patients was found to be 3 and 4.““According to Dr. Vaishya, with increasing age of the population, the demand for Total Knee Arthroplasty for knee arthritis is increasing. It is debatable if SBTKA can be offered to the very elderly patients, due to the concerns of intra and post operative risks. To find the answer to this question, this study was conducted. Whilst considering the elderly patients for SBTKA, various factors like age, overall health, mental function and their motivation must be considered. Increased age alone should not discourage doctors and family to condone patients from the benefit of surgery. These elderly people, who live much beyond their counterparts have exceptional qualities like the low probability of disease or disability, active engagement with life and high cognitive and physical function capacity, said Dr. Vaishya.““We did not find SBTKA to be associated with any additional or significantly increased risk of morbidity or mortality in our patients compared to unilateral or staged bilateral TKA. So elderly patients should not be condoned just because of their increased age and be deprived of the potential benefits of SBTKA, provided the risks be well accepted by the doctors, family members and the patients. We believe, that although SBTKA cannot add years to the lives of these patients, certainly can add quality to the remaining years of their lives, said Dr. Vaishya.““Every person has got two types of age – chronologic age and biological age, and it has been found that the biological age of the people living more than 70 years is less. They are free from congenital and lifestyle diseases. They have observed a more balanced lifestyle and they have done exercises and physical work on a regular basis because of which they are physically and mentally fit. If such people are given a remedy for their knee or joint problems, they can maintain their active life and will be able to live a longer life.““

Vinod Kumar

Health Journalist & writer. Editor of monthly health magazine "Health Spectrum."

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