The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK), a think tank on the impact of longevity on society, has welcomed the G20 Government’s commitment to focus its efforts on the prevention of ill health.
Following the G20 Leaders’ Meeting in Japan last week, leaders have committed to promote “healthy and active ageing through policy measures to address health promotion, prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases…over the life course”.
ILC-UK has been calling on governments across the globe to make prevention a priority since the launch of the “Prevention in an ageing world” programme at the World Health Assembly in May.
Research by the think tank reveals that among those aged 50 and over in developed countries, at least 16% of the total number of years lived with disability are attributable to largely preventable diseases.
ILC Director David Sinclair commented: “Prevention isn’t just for kids. Especially in the context of demographic change, we need to make sure that preventative action spans right across the life course.”
“Our evidence has shown that preventing disease and limiting long-term impairment and the compounding impact of multiple diseases are both good for our health and will play an important role in supporting the economic sustainability of health systems.”
“As such, it’s very promising to see Leaders from across the G20 committing to a much-needed focus on prevention across the life course and we look forward to seeing preventative programmes rolled out in these countries.”
As demographic trends continue, ILC-UK’s analysis predicts that 26.9 million years will be lived with disability, resulting in huge losses to wellbeing and productivity.
As such, the think tank believes there is a “clear need” for health systems to include adults in mid and later life in health promotion programmes.
ILC-UK will be organising an event alongside the G20 Health Ministerial Meeting in Japan in October to further promote the inclusion of preventative interventions across all ages in health systems at the national level.