Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


How to meet the challenge of ageing populations

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 20 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3815

Rapid Response:

A vicious cycle?

Fahy er al. mention the broad range of solutions and interventions
available to the EU partnership in order to reduce the burden of disease
on an ageing population. However, I feel an important counterpoint has not
been considered. It may be argued that high-income countries have reached a
plateau in life expectancy where further investment is likely to bring
little return, but also, that the effect of increasing life expectancy
would be to increase the numbers of the unproductive retired thereby
creating a vicious cycle that can only be broken by raising the retirement

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 June 2011
Nikhil K Patel
FY1 Doctor
Basildon Hospital