Tony Hockley, director of the Policy Analysis Centre and a research associate at LSE Health and Social Care, is one of the authors of a major new report, published today (Monday 19 February), that sends a stark warning to the government that rising ill health from cholesterol-related cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) will undermine its plans for people to work for longer. The result may be a crisis in the increased pension and NHS costs of an ageing population.
The report, from cholesterol charity H·E·A·R·T UK, entitled Cholesterol and the Ageing Population: avoiding the crisis in health and pension costs, shows:
Whilst the number of deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD) is falling, the number of people living with CHD and leaving the workforce prematurely is rising and is set to double over the next 25 years. According to a report from the World Health Organisation, globally, 60 per cent of coronary heart disease and 40 per cent of strokes can be attributed to unhealthy cholesterol levels.
There is a high dependency rate amongst those aged 60 to 64 who have a long standing illness, disability or infirmity - only 1 in 4 are economically active.
The Government's plan to raise the retirement age and keep people working longer is under threat as workers face increasing ill-health and incapacity. By 2020 CHD will be the leading cause of disablement in the UK.
GP appointments associated with CHD will rise by 40 per cent (678,000 extra GP appointments every year) and hospitalisations by 34 per cent (over 36,000 extra hospitalisations every year) by 2020.
A recent study of the economic burden of cardiovascular disease put the current annual cost to the UK economy at over £7bn. This equates to the cost of over 400,000 junior nurses or the cost of treating 300,000 women with herceptin.
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A generation faces years of misery due to heart disease (20 Feb 07)
Britain faces a health and pensions crisis as baby-boomers fall prey to heart disease and stroke, a leading heart charity said yesterday. 'UK targets for tackling the issue are outdated, and performance in meeting them is poor,' said Tony Hockley, a research associate at the London School of Economics and director of the Policy Analysis Centre.
19 February 2007