Aging is something we all face, but some people have more issues as they age than others. Genetic and lifestyle factors are two of the biggest contributors to physical ailments in people as they age. For example, some people are genetically predisposed to develop diabetes. Others have a history of high blood pressure. For these people, taking care of their body may not stave off problems in old age. Other people choose not to take care of their body, and wind up with old-age problems as a result. This can be from obesity, smoking or some other lifestyle factor that damages the body over time. These factors can lead to numerous problems over time.

As people age and their bodies break down and fail, they are more likely to need hospitalizations, and some of those stays can be very invasive. For example, 15-25% of all hospital stays require the placement of a catheter to allow the patient to pass urine. Catheters are one of the most invasive medical devices there are, and they also have a high complication rate. Urinary tract infections from catheters account for about 30% of all hospital infections. That is the case whether the patient has an intermittent catheter or a permanent one. In fact, intermittent catheters, because they are removed several times a day, can be more of an infection risk.

Catheters and other urology supplies can be necessary if there are bladder problems as well as kidney problems. However, because kidneys have more of a function than just producing urine, they can produce more serious problems. If your kidney function is impaired and falls to very low levels, such as only 10-15% function, then dialysis and possibly a kidney transplant can be necessary.

Among the causes of kidney problems can be high blood pressure and diabetes, and these conditions are more likely to cause serious problems if they go undiagnosed and unchecked for long periods of time. A number of conditions can cause bladder problems, which are more common in women. Both kidney and bladder problems are more likely as people age.

Taking care of yourself and seeing your doctor regularly can help you to avoid kidney and bladder problems as you age. Good health cannot overcome genetic issues, but in many cases it can make genetics-linked health problems less severe.

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