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13 - Public Health and Ageing

from Part 2 - Contexts for Public Health Practice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2023

Kirsteen Watson
University of Cambridge
Jan Yates
NHS England and NHS Improvement
Stephen Gillam
University of Cambridge
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The proportion of the population living into old age has been increasing worldwide. For the first time in history, there are more older people than children under 5 years of age. The task for public health is to understand the relationships between ageing, health and the environment (physical, social and economic) in which people live, to promote healthy ageing and prevent the disability and subsequent dependency that is often associated with growing old.

This chapter examines the factors that lead to ageing populations and explores the health, social and economic consequences of the change in the population structure. It then goes on to outline strategies that can lead to healthy ageing and other public health actions that could help to manage the challenges posed – and the opportunities afforded – by the relative and absolute increase in the number of older people.

Essential Public Health
Theory and Practice
, pp. 249 - 264
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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