Only about 8% of people aged 60-64 have dementia, cancer or Parkinson’s disease or have survived a stroke or heart attack, down from about 14% in 2002.
Among 65 to 69-year olds about 12% have at least one serious illness down from 18%.
Ros Altman (the appropriately named tsar for older workers) said “It’s fantastic news. Most people in their sixties will not be old in the conventional sense any more”
The finding s were part of a report,“Serious Illness in the Over-50s” by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) which shows that the onset of serious illness is occurring later in life for most people. So fewer people aged 55-80 have at least one serious illness, the proportion affected has increased in the over-80s.
David Sinclair, the Director of the ILC-UK, believes it gives the NHS a temporary reprieve as the research shows a potentially healthier population in the under-70 age groups.
There are 3.1 million people in the UK living with a serious illness and its predicted that this will rise. However the drop in the 60-64 age group, mainly through a drop in strokes and heart attacks, better diets and a reduction in smoking, is good news as that is the age at which most serious illnesses strike.
Sadly there are more people over 80 living with cancer. It seems to be a disease of old age and only last week the predicted proportion of people who will get cancer was increased from 1 in 3 people to 50%.