ADDING LIFE TO YEARS AND YEARS TO LIFE
The UK government has set a goal of five more years of healthy life expectancy by 2035 and at the same time close the large social gap in healthy life expectancy. Currently in the UK, on average, women are living for 29 years in poor health and men for 23 years. A cross-parliamentary group has published a National Strategy for Healthier Longer Lives – a key message being to turn the “problem” of ageing into opportunities. The report shows a shocking current picture pointing, for example, to data indicating 70% of people over 55 will have at least one obesity related disease by 2030. But prevention of premature ill-health is possible with collective policy, technology and interdisciplinary action by business, central and local government, academia, charities and individuals themselves. For example, the UK has set up a National Academy for Social Prescribing to promote the benefits of non-clinical approaches to healthier living and ageing.
The report’s recommendations are supported by 10 research papers on the following topics written by policy and academic advisers:
- Social determinants of health
- Health inequalities
- Making it easier to live well: addressing the behavioural and environmental drivers of ill health
- National leadership for achieving the five extra healthy years
- Local systems and grand ageing challenge goals
- A service for national health – an NHS fit for 2035
- Measuring national healthy lifespan
- Business as key stakeholder in health
- Economic and scientific case for therapeutic intervention in ageing
- Science and technology
This report was recommended by Julia Randell-Khan, Fellow at the Stanford Center on Longevity.