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Adapting EU health systems to the needs of an ageing population

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As the number of elderly people in Europe is increasing, COWI is analysing what demands that makes on EU health management.

By 2050 the number of people in the EU aged 65+ will have grown by 70 per cent. The 80+ age group will have grown by 170 per cent.

The EU plays an important role in health policy, and DG SANCO therefore commissioned COWI to analyse the implications of a growing ageing population and the involved increases in healthcare needs, chronic diseases and disabilities.

Predicting trends
Through a literature review, COWI predicts future health trends affecting an ageing population, providing an overview of the most common chronic diseases, risk factors and disabilities in old age.

Five case countries
Five case member states form the basis of the study, selected according to their organisational differences and the challenges they face in terms of demographic developments: Denmark, Germany, Italy, UK and Poland.

Prevention
Projections show that if people can remain healthy as they live longer, the rise in health-care spending due to ageing can be reduced significantly.

Care pathways
COWI performed a detailed analysis of the amount and the type of health services that will be required to meet the needs of an ageing population. Furthermore, a coherent framework for health policy interventions was developed.

Policy recommendations
The analysis resulted in a number of policy recommendations, identifying the main trends and organisation of care.

LAST UPDATED: 16.01.2017