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How ageing is affecting nation’s health

Tuesday September 11th, 2018

Dementia is likely to be the leading cause of death for both sexes in England within two years as the population ages, according to a major report on the nation’s health published today.

The Public Health England report states that the number of over-85s in England will pass two million by 2031. The numbers have already trebled in 40 years.

But increased longevity will not mean better health for everyone, the report warns.

There will be a 25% increase in those with diabetes by 2035, reaching nearly five million, by 2035 according to the report.

It warns the UK has a poor record on women’s health compared with other European countries. Within the 28 current EU member states, it ranks 18 – while the UK ranks tenth for men’s health.

The report says life expectancy for men in England now stands at 79.6 while for women it is 83.2.

The report says that dementia is already the leading cause of death for women and may overtake heart disease as the main cause of male death by 2020.

Public Health England director of health improvement Professor John Newton said: “More of us are living longer with painful or disabling conditions, including musculoskeletal problems, skin conditions and sensory loss. While these illnesses often attract less attention than causes of early death such as heart disease and cancer, they have a profound effect on the day to day lives of many people and together they place significant pressure on the NHS.

“The challenge now is for the NHS to respond to this changing landscape and to focus on preventing as well as treating the conditions which are causing the greatest disease burden across our nation.

“The new report also shows that good public health is not defined by health policy alone – a high-quality education, a well-designed and warm home, a good job and a community to belong to are just as important.”

Tags: Elderly Health | General Health | UK News

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