An extra 2.5million Britons will have major illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and dementia by 2040 with soaring obesity counteracting gains made by fewer people smoking, report warns
- An estimated 9.1million people will have a major illness within next two decades
A further 2.5million people will be living with major illnesses including cancer, diabetes and dementia by 2040, warns a report.
Soaring obesity levels will counteract the gains made by lower smoking rates, with almost one in five individuals requiring treatment for a serious illness, it says.
The report from think tank the Health Foundation estimates that 9.1million people in England will have a major illness within the next two decades – a jump of 37 per cent.
Most over-70s will be living with three health conditions, rising to five by the age of 85.
In what the foundation branded its ‘most significant report in recent years’, it warned that the working age population, by comparison, is only likely to increase by 4 per cent.
A further 2.5million people will be living with major illnesses including cancer, diabetes and dementia by 2040, a report warns. File image
These will be responsible for generating the bulk of Government revenues used to fund public services, including the NHS, it said.
The foundation suggested a long-term plan is needed ‘to reform, modernise and invest in the NHS, alongside a bold new approach to investing in the nation’s health and wellbeing’.
The findings have led to renewed calls for a Commissioner for Older People and Ageing for England.
Those living with heart failure are expected to jump by 92 per cent and diabetes by half (49 per cent) unless more is done to battle the nation’s bulging waistline.
Cancer and chronic pain are both forecast to leap by almost a third – at 31 and 32 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, dementia cases will rise by almost half (45 per cent).
The report suggests that 9.1million people in England will have a major illness within the next two decades – a jump of 37 per cent. File image
Four-fifths of the jump in major illnesses will be driven by an ageing population. As people live longer, they are more likely to encounter ill health.
Anita Charlesworth, of the Health Foundation, said: ‘With one in five people projected to be living with major illness, the impact will extend well beyond the health service and has significant implications for other public services, the labour market and the public finances.’
Miriam Deakin at NHS Providers, which represents trusts, said: ‘Prevention is better than cure. More support and money for public health services are vital.’
A health department spokesman said an extra £39billion was committed in the last year to recover from Covid, cut waiting lists and support health and care services, adding: ‘Our forthcoming Major Conditions Strategy will also outline how best to prevent, diagnose, and manage six key conditions.’
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