Developing world is rapidly going grey
DEVELOPING countries are already struggling to manage the growing epidemic of diabetes and other chronic diseases, and by 2050 one in five inhabitants of these nations will be older than 60 years.
The Lancet reports that the world is about to undergo a significant demographic shift.
In the next five years, for the first time ever, the number of people aged 65 years or older will outnumber children younger than five, and by 2050 80% of the two billion elderly people on the planet will be living in the developing world.
In the past two decades developing countries have struggled to find a balance between trying to manage the burden of infectious disease and managing chronic conditions.
In countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, families rather than the government are expected to take on the burden of ageing relatives, suggesting many people’s health needs will not be fully met.
Lancet 2012; 379:1285-87
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