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Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, study warns

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k371 (Published 05 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k371
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

The number of older people with four or more chronic diseases will double within the next 20 years largely because of an increase in obesity and physical inactivity, a large study has found.1 A third of these people will have dementia, depression, or cognitive impairment diagnosed.

The UK healthcare system, which generally remains centred on treating single diseases, needs to be radically restructured to cope with this rise in multimorbidity, said researchers from Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing.

Published in the British Geriatrics Society’s journal Age and Ageing,1 the study found that the gain in life expectancy over the next 20 years (predicted as 3.6 years in …

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