Chronic disease prevention
Against the positive data on life expectancy, chronic diseases such as diabetes, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, thyroid disorders, heart failure, ischemic heart diseases and neurological diseases are growing, also due to the progressive ageing of the population.
According to the 2017 Osservasalute report, assistance to these people (almost four out of ten citizens, equal to 23.6 million individuals) represents the main challenge for Italian healthcare. According to ISTAT data, 74.8% of elderly people in Italy suffer from chronic diseases, and the percentage of overweight elderly people is on the increase (46.5% in 2015).
At the same time, from 2010 to 2015, the level of positive perception of one's state of health decreased: in particular, those who define their state of health as "positive" and "adequate" decreased, compared to an increase (+2.9%) in people describing it as "negative".
Life expectancy in Spain is the second in OECD countries after Japan with a percentage of elderly over 65 of 18.3% in 2014, the highest in Europe. Despite this data, important health risk factors persist, such as smoking and alcohol consumption: 10.6 litres of alcohol per capita are consumed annually in the country, compared to an annual world average of 6.2 litres; the percentages are considerably higher than the OECD average and in particular of best-in-class countries such as Sweden, Australia and Iceland.
Also in the light of the increasing life expectancy and the incidence of risk factors, the main cause of death in 2015 in Spain is related to chronic circulatory, cardiac and neurological diseases.
According to the OECD, Spain has gaps in the quality of treatment of chronic diseases and especially in prevention to avoid unnecessary hospitalisations.
Against an increasing life expectancy, from 2010 to 2015 the level of positive perception of one's state of health decreased: in particular, those who define their state of health as "positive"(-1.7%) decreased, compared to an increase in people describing it as "negative” or “adequate”.
Important health risk factors persist in the country, such as smoking and alcohol consumption: according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 9.6 litres of alcohol per capita are consumed annually, compared to an annual world average of 6.2 litres, a fact that makes Chile the South American country with the highest consumption rate. Risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity are among the primary causes of the spread of chronic conditions such as diabetes, of which Chile has one of the highest hospitalisation rates among OECD countries.
According to the World Bank, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and cancer are widespread diseases in Chile, especially among the over 65 population, with a growth from 6 to 11% between 1990 and 2015.
Chronic diseases are the main cause of death in the world: according to the WHO; approx. 17 million people die prematurely every year due to this kind of disease. It is estimated that approx. 70-80% of the world's health resources are spent on managing chronic diseases: in Europe chronic diseases, responsible for about 86% of all deaths, involve a health expenditure estimated at approx. 700 billion Euros per year.
Chronic diseases generally originate at a young age and also require decades before they manifest themselves clinically. Given the long duration, long-term care is needed but at the same time they present different prevention opportunities.
By way of example, Reale Foundation can support:
Within the projects launched in this area of intervention, Reale Foundation can also support initiatives aimed at providing support to patients affected by chronic diseases, facilitating access to treatment and the care of vulnerable individuals and improving the quality of physical, psychological and social life.
By way of example, Reale Foundation can support initiatives for the assistance, treatment and residency of chronic patients; and initiatives for the empowerment of patients affected by chronic diseases, for example through the strengthening of home care through the use of innovative "techno-assistance" methodologies.