Over 9M people in England expected to live with major illnesses by 2040: Study

Over 9M people in England expected to live with major illnesses by 2040: Study

1 in 5 adults will suffer from diseases like dementia, cancer, diabetes, predicts Health Foundation study

By Mehmet Solmaz

BIRMINGHAM, England (AA) – More than 9 million people in England will be living with major illnesses in the next two decades, a health think tank has warned in a study.

Research from the Health Foundation in cooperation with the University of Liverpool predicted that 2.5 million more people in England will have a major illness by 2040, up 37% to 9.1 million compared with 2019.

The analysis found that 19 of the 20 health conditions studied are projected to increase in prevalence, including a rise of more than 30% in the number of people living with conditions such as cancer, diabetes and kidney disease.

Overall, the number of people living with major diseases is set to increase from almost one in six of the adult population in 2019, to nearly one in five by 2040, “with significant implications for the National Health Service (NHS), other public services and the public finances.”

Researcher Toby Watt said the findings of the report give new insight into the future demand for health care in England. “The rise in people living with major illness will not occur overnight. Managing these pressures is achievable with careful planning, investment and changes in how care is delivered,” he said.

The study showed that much of the projected growth in illness relates to conditions such as anxiety and depression, chronic pain and diabetes, which are predominantly managed outside hospitals in primary care and the community.

“This reinforces the need for investment in general practice and community-based services, focusing on prevention and early intervention to reduce the impact of illness and improve the quality of people’s lives,” it said.

The report warned that there is no “silver bullet” to reduce the growth in people living with major illnesses and that supporting people to live well with illness will increasingly be an essential function of health care and other services in the future.

Its findings underlined the need for a long-term plan to reform, modernize and invest in the NHS alongside a bold, new approach that invests in the nation’s health and wellbeing.

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