Intended for healthcare professionals


Almost a quarter more working adults will have major illness by 2040, experts predict

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: (Published 17 April 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q889
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

Rising levels of ill health will take a toll on people’s lives and the economy in the next 15 years, health policy experts have warned. They predict that 23% more adults of working age in England will have a diagnosed major illness by 2040, with 3.7 million people affected, up from three million in 2019.

The Health Foundation think tank makes the prediction in a report on inequalities in major illness in England.1 This follows a report from last year,2 which estimated that the number of people of all ages with major illness in England would increase to 9.3 million in 2040, a rise of 2.6 million from 2019.

Some 80% of the 700 000 workers who will be affected …

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