Connect to share and comment
Nearly a quarter of people in Scotland suffer from at least two chronic conditions. Researchers say that the health system in the UK can't cope with an aging population.
A new study has found that 42 percent of people in Scotland suffer from a chronic health condition, BBC News reported. In addition, the researchers found that nearly a quarter of the population has at least two conditions. The researchers say this is a sign that people in the UK are getting older--and adds that the healthcare system is not equipped to handle the aging population.
"Any country with an aging population is heading in this direction. All these countries are waking up to the problem," Graham Watt, a study author and professor of general practice at Glasgow University, told the BBC.
More from GlobalPost: Promises, pitfalls await investors in Burma’s frontier
The study, published today in medical journal The Lancet, says that chronic, long-term disorders are the "main challenge facing health-care systems worldwide."
The UK's healthcare system is designed to focus on just one disease at a time, with specialists treating individual conditions. But the researchers say this method is not realistic.
“The focus on single diseases, which dominates healthcare delivery, medical research and medical education, is insufficient to address the needs of those with multiple morbidities,” Watt said, according to Bloomberg News.
The study also found that economic factors play a role in chronic conditions. Researchers said that the onset of multi-morbidity occurred 10 to 15 years earlier in people living in poor areas compared to people in more affluent areas, OnMedica reported.