Dr Prem Global Healthcare Logo

Effects of chronic disease and an aging population on the global healthcare industry


<![CDATA[The increasing number of people contracting chronic diseases and the aging population are prominent growth drivers of health care services in both developed as well as developing economies in 2014 and beyond. Considering the situation, we offer you an insight into how chronic diseases and aging population are affecting the global healthcare industry.

Aging population

Aging populations and rapid increase in the life expectancy ratio are burdening the health care system in markets including Japan, the US, Western Europe, and China. A research conducted by Deloitte states that the global population age 60 or over has grown by three times in the last 50 years and is anticipated to retain the same growth rate in the next 50 years. This implies that the proportion of older individuals will reach nearly two billion by the end 2050.


The case of China stands out, as the increasing life expectancy backed by a significant decline in the number of young people may have disastrous implications. The sorry state of affairs can be attributed to the family size policies the oriental giant implemented to check its population growth.


The report says that Europe has the distinction of being home to the largest population of older individuals, which it is more likely to retain for the next 50 years or so. Over 37 percent of the total population of Europe is expected to be 60 years or above in 2050. The figure is worthy enough to instill panic in the healthcare establishments and the policy makers in the continent.


On the contrary, only 10 percent of the entire population of Africa is anticipated to be above 60 years in 2050. As of now, the growth rate of the older population is about 1.9 percent, which is quiet higher when compared to the growth of the total population at 1.2 percent. The divide between the two rates will further widen with the baby-boom generation nearing older ages.


According to the report, Mexico is a young country with 30 percent of total population below 14 years old or younger in 2011. By 2017, however, only 7.5 percent of the entire population will be 65 or older. The trend indicates that the public health care system would be stretched to the limit.

Chronic diseases

Another shared demographic trend, the spread of chronic diseases will present a serious challenge to the global healthcare segment in the times to come. The prominent chronic diseases with which the global healthcare system has to contend includes heart disease, stroke, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, diabetes, and mental illness to mention a few.

Most of these diseases, if not all, are a consequence of diet changes, sedentary lifestyles, work stress and rising obesity levels, in addition to the vastly improved diagnostics. It is worth mentioning that the chronic diseases are, by far, the biggest culprits of mortality worldwide, accounting up to 63 percent of all deaths.

The research further states that cancer and heart disease are emerging as the two most prominent killers not only in affluent countries but in the emerging markets as well. In the recent years, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America have witnessed a frantic rise in diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses. With 92 million diabetic patients, China tops the list superseding its neighbor India that has over 80 million diabetics, according to International Diabetes Federation.

The spiraling treatment costs for diabetes and other chronic diseases make it hard for the common folks, particularly in the developing parts of the world, to access medical care. This necessitates the governments and health care providers to focus on disease education and prevention along with cure. The life sciences companies can also contribute by developing innovative medications to address most of these diseases.]]>

Recent Articles:

Scroll to Top