Senior citizens are the fastest growing population on EARTH! But these are Baby Boomers – who lived a pretty wild life. They came of age in the 60s and 70s – and now a lot of them are paying the price of that crazy lifestyle. Here are some of the surprising new Boomer health risks:
Hep C! 75 percent of Hepatitis C cases are among Baby Boomers. It’s a blood-borne virus and some Boomers may have had transfusions that took place before routine screenings were standard. But it’s also spread through shared needles – possibly from tattooing or drug use. And because 45 percent of infected people have no idea they have it – the CDC is recommending that ALL Baby Boomers get tested. The good news is, there’s now an antiviral treatment that can cure 75 percent of all cases.
Another Boomer health risk: STDs. Health experts are calling it a “Gray Epidemic.” They say, because people are living longer – and more Boomers are getting divorced and back into the dating scene – they’re not protecting themselves. And STD rates have TRIPLED among 55 to 65 years olds.
Boomers are also still into drugs! More than 1 in every 20 people over age 50 admits to using drugs! Pot is the biggie. But the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that there’s been a huge jump in older adults using cocaine and heroin! In fact, senior citizen drug use is so bad that many health experts think doctors should ask about drug abuse in every patient visit!
The final Baby Boomer health risk is called Alcoholic Dementia. There was a cocktail culture that exploded in the 60s - you’ve seen it on Mad Men. But a lot of Boomers just carried on drinking for their whole life. And experts say a lot of senior citizens are being misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s when really, they have a drinking problem! Doctors call it Alcoholic Dementia because they mistake the memory loss and cognitive impairment from being drunk – for Alzheimer’s!