The cost of age-related non-communicable diseases is staggering. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, in the next 10 years, China, India, and Britain will lose $558 billion, $237 billion, and $33 billion, respectively, in national income as a result of heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.
Today more than 35 million people worldwide have dementia, increasing to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050. Total costs for people with dementia amount to more than 1 percent of global GDP, or $604 billion, in 2010. (Alzheimer's Disease International)
The risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55.
(Internet Stroke Center)
Sarcopenia, the medical condition referring to the age-related loss of muscle, affects about 10 percent of Americans over 60, with higher rates as age advances, and accounted for a direct medical cost of $18.5 billion in 2000, or 1.5 percent of the nation's health care spending. (American Geriatrics Society)
40 to 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have non-melanoma skin cancer at least once. (National Cancer Institute)
A typical advanced economy likely will increase its health-care costs by 4.8 percent
of GDP by 2050. (Standard & Poor's)
Global investment in non-communicable diseases is imperative. The 20th century brought about an increase in lifespan – the “longevity miracle.” The 21st must be about making the most of that miracle.