We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

diabetes image via Shutterstock
chronic disease

More than half of Irish people over 50 have two or more chronic diseases

This number is likely to rise dramatically by the end of this decade, a conference on public health heard yesterday.

MORE THAN HALF of our over 50s are currently living with two or more chronic diseases and this figure is likely to rise dramatically by the end of this decade.

This is according to experts at a conference hosted yesterday by the Institute of Public Health (IPH). Olga McDaid, of IPH, told the conference that 53.8 per cent of people aged 50 and over in Ireland are living with two or more chronic conditions – multimorbidity – such as diabetes, stroke or coronary heart disease.

She said that data from the Longitudinal Study on Ageing in Ireland (TILDA) shows the number of people living with multimorbidity is significant and likely to increase dramatically by the end of this decade due to our growing and ageing population.

Fragmented care

“The increasing number of patients with multimorbidity represents a real challenge for the health services,” she told the conference.

Visits to GP surgeries and hospitals for outpatient and inpatient services are likely to increase. In addition, these patients’ needs are complex and international experience has shown that health services have struggled to cope with these patients’ needs and their care has tended to be quite fragmented.

McDaid told the conference that another challenge is that the causes of multimorbidity are still unknown and that’s why more research is needed in this area, as well as a focus on the consequences for people who have two or more chronic diseases.

“Such research would also help us to design effective programmes to prevent or delay the onset of multimorbidity in later life and plan how we shape the appropriate provision of health services to meet this growing challenge,” she added.

Read: No plans to revise scheme for chronic illness – despite no update since 1970s>

Column: We need more creative, enjoyable ways of managing chronic illness>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.