AGEING POPULATIONS: HOW EUROPE CAN LIVE LONGER AND BETTER
- EUROPE’S AGEING POPULATION FACES AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE
- MORE AND MORE EUROPEANS ARE LIVING LONGER
- A DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFT IS UNDERWAY
- MEANWHILE, CHRONIC DISEASE IS ON THE RISE
- MANY CHRONIC DISEASES CAN BE PREVENTED AND MANAGED
- HELPING PEOPLE STAY ACTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE LONGER
- CAREGIVERS MUST BE SUPPORTED AS WELL
- How Governments and Employers Can Help
Prevention and early intervention have the potential to greatly reduce the costs associated with chronic diseases, which are often linked to obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition. Investing in educating and informing citizens and teaching them healthy habits from a young age can have a huge impact on health outcomes—thereby increasing people’s quality of life and allowing them to remain active and productive for longer. However, currently only 3% of European healthcare budgets are earmarked for prevention and education campaigns—and in some countries, the rate is as low as 1%.
The WHO estimates that 40% of cancers and 80% of all heart disease, strokes and Type II diabetes could be prevented if the risk factors listed above were reduced, potentially saving millions of euros for healthcare systems across Europe.
NEW TOOLS FOR PREVENTION: MICROSIMULATION IN ITALY
Helping policymakers see how prevention reduce healthcare costs has historically been difficult. An innovative dynamic microsimulation tool developed in Italy has been developed to do just that. Drawing on data from 11 European countries, the model has already demonstrated that a small drop in obesity rates could trigger a significant drop in diabetes and hypertension rates, reducing healthcare costs by up to €11 million per year. This type of economic microsimulation is an essential tool for policymakers, who can more easily justify investments in prevention when armed with data that helps them determine the real financial impact.
Whitepaper: Roadmap for Sustainable Health
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.