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Quality of life in chronic disease rehabilitation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2005

Peter Hobson
Affiliation:
Cardiff University School of Medicine, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl North Wales, UK
Jolyon Meara
Affiliation:
Cardiff University School of Medicine, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl North Wales, UK

Abstract

In 2002 the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that worldwide, deaths due to chronic diseases were accountable for around 30 million people. An earlier report by the WHO revealed that the leading causes of deaths due to chronic disease were cardiovascular disease (17 million), cancers (7 million), chronic lung diseases (4 million) and diabetes (approximately 1 million). In developed nations, the most frequently reported risk factors associated with chronic diseases are exposure to tobacco products (12.2%), hypertension (10.9%), alcohol consumption (9.2%), elevated cholesterol (7.6%), and obesity (7.4%), unhealthy diets that include high saturated fat and sugar content (3.9%) and sedentary lifestyle (3.3%). In view of the demographic shifts, and the strong association with aging and chronic disease, it is estimated that worldwide, within the next two decades, the predicted number of deaths due to chronic illness will rise to around 50 million people per year. Amongst elderly populations in particular, circulatory diseases, respiratory diseases, mental health problems, and musculoskeletal diseases are frequently cited as causes of chronic illness. Population estimates in the UK suggest that around 70% of people by the age of 80 report some type of health-related disability. Patients with chronic conditions will often have multiple co-morbidities with complicated disease management which will necessitate considerable contributions from their caregivers. The caregivers of the chronically ill are often unpaid family members who are frequently placed under considerable stress, and as a result can themselves suffer from functional decline, depression, isolation and loneliness.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2005 Cambridge University Press

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