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5 "Deadly" Mistakes to To Never Make After 50

Stop before it's too late.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

COVID-19 is "most deadly" for people over age 50, researchers declared early in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. This was shocking but not entirely surprising. The risk of serious and potentially fatal illness rises with age, as immune systems naturally weaken and the effects of unhealthy lifestyle choices compound. Death from COVID-19 is now largely preventable through vaccination—and other deadly conditions can be avoidable, by not making certain health mistakes after 50. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.

1

Ignoring Routine Screenings

Gastrologist. Doctor's office. Doctor gastroenterologist with probe to perform gastroscopy and colonoscopy
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If you're 50 or older and haven't started routine colon cancer screening, call your doctor today. Seriously. Today experts recommend beginning routine screening at age 45, because colon cancer is now increasingly found in younger people. (The reason why isn't clear.) The same goes for mammograms, cervical cancer screening, prostate cancer screening, and other routine tests recommended for women and men over a certain age. Don't keep putting it off—just do it. You'll feel so much better.

2

Ignoring These Symptoms

Middle aged woman suffering from abdominal pain while sitting on bed at home
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Ovarian cancer is known as a silent killer because early detection is difficult—no routine screening test exists. According to the American Cancer Society, most ovarian cancers develop after menopause. So if you have ovaries, it's important to be vigilant about possible symptoms after 50. If you experience bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, or you feel full quickly when eating, consult your doctor. If you have a family history of ovarian, breast or colorectal cancer, let your doctor know. They might decide that more extensive or periodic testing is necessary.

RELATED: 10 Warning Signs You Have Alzheimer's, Says CDC

3

Skipping These Vaccines

Doctor Giving Older Woman Corona Virus Vaccine Injection In Hospital
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Earlier this year, the statistics were stark: 95 percent of people who died of COVID-19 were over age 50. Today, vaccinations have blunted that number, experts believe. And that's as good a nudge as any: If you're over 50, get vaccinated against COVID, and follow up with any recommended boosters. And while you're at it, ask your healthcare provider about other routine vaccines they'd recommend for those 50-plus, including flu, pneumococcal pneumonia, and shingles.

RELATED: You'll Now Need a Vaccine to Enter Here

4

Being Sedentary

Obese woman laying on sofa with smartphone eating chips
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You've gotta keep moving to stay young. Seriously: Being sedentary raises your risk of a range of health conditions that can shorten your life—and increase in frequency after age 50: obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise) each week. Some examples of moderate exercise include brisk walking, dancing or gardening; vigorous exercise includes running, swimming, hiking or biking.

RELATED: 7 Signs Someone is Getting Dementia, According to Experts

5

Drinking Too Much

Man relaxing with bourbon whiskey drink alcoholic beverage in hand and using mobile smartphone
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Alcohol use has skyrocketed during the pandemic. That's not good health news for anyone—and if you're over 50, it's especially important to cut back. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and at least seven types of cancer, the incidence of which all increase with age. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael
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