Almost two thirds of people aged 65 and over suffer high blood pressure and many have arthritis, according to figures published today.
Official statistics from the Health Survey for England showed that while more than half of people aged 65 and over consider their health to be good or very good, many suffer a range of problems.
More than a quarter (28 per cent) of women and 24 per cent of men are obese, leading to higher rates of diabetes, arthritis and risk of stroke.
Of those with high blood pressure, 60 per cent are receiving treatment but fewer than half of those have it under control.
Arthritis was the most common chronic disease reported by women (47 per cent) while heart disease was the most common among men (37 per cent).
Other problems emerging from the survey include poor mobility, poor sight and hearing, and feeling lonely or depressed.
The study, carried out by the National Centre for Social Research and University College London (UCL), was funded and published by The Information Centre for health and social care.
Dr Jennifer Mindell, clinical senior lecturer in UCL’s department of epidemiology and public health, said: ‘Many people aged 65 and over have very good health, but a large proportion are living with chronic diseases.
‘Yet again, we have found that people with lower incomes are generally in poorer health than those who are more affluent.
‘We need to know and do more to improve the poor mental health and the reported lack of social support networks of a substantial proportion of this age group.’
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