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World Health Day 2012 - Good health adds life to years

04 Apr 12

Rethinking conventional definitions of what it means to be ‘old’

On World Health Day (7 April), WHO is calling for urgent action to ensure that, at a time when the world's population is ageing rapidly, people reach old age in the best possible health.

In the next few years, for the first time, there will be more people in the world aged over 60 than children aged less than five. By 2050, 80% of the world’s older people will be living in low- and middle-income countries.

Noncommunicable diseases - the main health risk for older people
The main health challenges for older people everywhere are noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

“People in low- and middle-income countries currently face up to four times the risk of death and disability from noncommunicable diseases than people in high-income countries,” says Dr Margaret Chan WHO Director-General. “Yet most of these conditions are largely preventable or inexpensive to treat.”

Read the full story here

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