Longer Lives, More Health Problems

Longer Lives, More Health Problems

12.17.12 | By

People the world over are living longer. We've talked about it before, now its getting recognition in the main stream media... The New York Times and Washington Post.

The question is: can we prepare for this very different new world?

That people are living longer is great news, of course. It means that we've made real progress - both medically and structurally, against many conditions that contribute to disease and result in early death. Medically, for example, a dangerous and once pervasive disease like small pox has been eradicated. And progress continues to be made in the global fighting against polio, as well as against flues and other childhood disease. And, according to the articles above, starvation and unsanitary living conditions while not eliminated are less of a threat to more and more people around the world.

But the good news doesn't mean the work is done. Longer lives, better living and working conditions and increased global development may improve and change health needs but it doesn't end the healthcare challenges. Where we once fought small pox, we now struggle with growing global cases of diabetes, obesity, heart disease. Longer lives also means that the global scourge of Alzheimer's disease as well as other aging issues will increase and have a growing impact on healthcare, how we provide it and what we pay for it.

In short, progress in one realm means we have to refocus our healthcare effort toward making new progress in other areas. With more than 3,000 medicines now in development targeting diabetes, cancers, heart disease and more, there is hope for improved medicines to help aid in treating and avoiding many of these conditions.

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