Podcast: What’s going on with life expectancy?

The increase in life expectancy in England has almost “ground to a halt” since 2010 and austerity measures are likely to be a significant contributor | BMJ Talk Medicine

In this podcast Michael Marmot, director at University College London’s Institute of Health Equity, joins us to discuss what might be causing that drop off, and why a decrease in early life chances is particularly problematic.

Read more about the report here

Reducing health inequalities: Marmot indicators 2017

This briefing provides an update on progress since the 2008 Marmot Review into the most effective evidence-based strategies for reducing health inequalities in England. | The Institute of Health Equity 

This update finds that improvements on life expectancy at birth and remaining life expectancy at 65 have slowed since 2010. The analysis also finds that inequalities within and between local authorities have persisted.

Full document: Marmot Indicators Briefing 2017 – updated

Additional links: BBC News report | AgeUK

Are we living longer?

Health profile for England. A report combining Public Health England (PHE) data and knowledge on the health of the population in England in 2017.

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This report focuses on the question ‘are we living longer, and are the extra years spent in good or bad health?’.

It summarises and interprets current trends in health outcomes in England, in particular:

  • life expectancy
  • health life expectancy
  • morbidity
  • mortality

It explores the impact of risk factors on these health outcomes and considers how England compares with other developed countries. It summarises inequalities in outcomes and the impact of the social determinants of health.

The 7 chapters can be read alone or as a series:

  1. Life expectancy, healthy life expectancy and years lived in poor health
  2. Major causes of death and how they have changed
  3. Trends in morbidity and risk factors
  4. European comparisons
  5. Health inequalities
  6. Social determinants of health
  7. Emerging health protection issues

Full report available here

Dementia numbers set to rise to 1.2 million by 2040 in England & Wales

Experts are predicting that there will be 1.2 million people in England and Wales living with dementia by 2040 – a rise of 57% from 2016 – due to increased life expectancy.

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A study  published in The BMJ  says that although the number of newly diagnosed cases of dementia is falling, the overall prevalence will increase substantially as people live longer and deaths from other causes, such as heart disease, continue to decline.

The team of researchers  based at University College London (UCL) and the University of Liverpool, set out to predict the future burden of dementia with more certainty by developing a mathematical model that takes account of disease trends and death rates alongside the effects of increasing life expectancy.  They calculated that there were currently 767,000 people living with dementia in England and Wales and the number would increase to more than 1.2 million by 2040.

Full story at OnMedica

Full reference: Ahmadi-Abhari, S et al.  Temporal trend in dementia incidence since 2002 and projections for prevalence in England and Wales to 2040: modelling study BMJ Published 05 July 2017

 

 

The future burden of disability in the UK

2.8 million people over 65 will need nursing and social care by 2025 – largely because of a significant rise in dementia-related disability, research finds.

Research published by the Lancet Public Health medical journal says cases of disability related to dementia will rise by 40% among people aged 65 to 84, with other forms of disability increasing by about 31%.

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The investigators used a detailed model to produce estimates of the prevalence of disability due to cardiovascular disease, dementia, and other causes in people aged 65 years or older in England and Wales to the year 2025.

They found a 25% increase from 2015 in the number of older people who will be living with disability, representing 560 000 additional elderly people in England and Wales who will need care for their disabling condition, and showed that the largest relative increases will be in dementia cases.  They also predicted that although life expectancy among people older than 65 years will increase by 1·7 years, 0·7 of these years will be lived with disability.

Having identified these challenges, the authors have recommended increased capacity in formal social care and improved support for informal social care arrangements, along with enhanced interventions against predictable risk factors for non-communicable diseases disability, such as smoking, diet, and physical activity.

Full reference: Guzman-Castillo, Maria et al. | Forecasted trends in disability and life expectancy in England and Wales up to 2025: a modelling studyThe Lancet Public Health Published online 23rd May 2017

Future life expectancy in 35 industrialised countries: projections with a Bayesian model ensemble

Kontis V,  Bennett JE et Al; The Lancet Online First,  21 February 2017

An article has been published in the Lancet ‘ Future life expectancy in 35 industrialised countries: projections with a Bayesian model ensemble’.

Life expectancy is projected to increase in all 35 countries with a probability of at least 65% for women and 85% for men.

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Image caption: http://thelancet.com

The researchers conclude that the health-care needs of these people go beyond simply increasing the number of facilities and personnel, itself a challenge in the current era of austerity, and should involve considerations about how and where care is delivered including more integrated care in the community setting or even at home. At the same time, healthy ageing through the life course can prevent or delay the chronic conditions that affect older people; assistive technologies that compensate for loss of sensory and motor abilities, and appropriate changes to the built environment and transportation services can support independent living and mobility.

Social security and pensions will face additional payouts with extended longevity, which will further stress them unless work and retirement practices change, for example through gradual transition to retirement or later retirement age. Although rising life expectancy necessitates policies that can support healthy ageing, reframing of education–work–retirement practices, and investment in health and social care, our projections show the continued success of extending longevity.

Read the full text of the article here

Action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases in the WHO European Region

WHO | Published online: September 2016

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Image source: WHO European Region

The World Health Organisation has published a vision for the prevention and control of long-term conditions and chronic disease in the WHO European region.

It outlines actions which can help to considerably reduce the burden of long-term conditions, improve quality of life and make healthy life expectancy more equitable. In addition to early diagnosis, the plan advocates the use of fiscal policies and marketing restrictions to promote healthy eating and reducing sedentary behaviour through the health system and environmental modifications.

Read the full report here