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'Aging Well' Must Be a Global Priority

Update Date: Nov 06, 2014 11:03 AM EST

Unless health systems find effective strategies to address the problems faced by an aging world population, the growing burden of chronic disease will greatly affect the quality of life of older people, according to a new report. 

Worldwide, life expectancy of older people is on rise. In the next 6 years, for the first time in history, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years. In the next 30 years, he world's population aged 60 years and older is expected to total 2 billion, up from 841 million today, according to the report. 

"While some interventions will be universally applicable, it will be important that countries monitor the health and functioning of their ageing populations to understand health trends and design programmes that meet the specific needs identified"*, said Dr Ties Boerma, Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Informatics at WHO, in the press release. 

"Cross-national surveys such as the WHO Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE), the Gallup World Poll, and other longitudinal cohorts studies of ageing in Brazil, China, India, and South Korea, are beginning to redress the balance and provide the evidence for policy, but much more remains to be done."

The report has been published in the journal The Lancet. 

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