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G20 leaders commit to promote prevention of ill-health across life span

Governments recognise need to include older adults in health programmes

Leaders of the G20 nations have committed to promote healthy and active ageing through policy measures that address health promotion, prevention and disease control across the life span.

Figures suggest that among those aged 50 and over in better-off countries, at least 16% of years lived with disability are largely preventable.

The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) predicts that as demographic trends continue, 26,958,009 years will be lived with disability, resulting in tremendous losses to wellbeing and productivity.

It said there is a clear need for health systems to include adults in mid and later life in health promotion programmes. Such interventions include targeted screening programmes, preventative medications, supporting people to adopt healthier lifestyles, vaccinations against communicable diseases and supporting people to manage long-term conditions.

ILC director David Sinclair said preventing disease and limiting long-term impairment and the compounding impact of multiple diseases are good for health and will play an important role in supporting the economic sustainability of health systems.

“As such, it’s very promising to see leaders from across the G20 committing to a much-needed focus on prevention across the life course and we look forward to seeing preventative programmes rolled out in these countries,” he added.