Population ageing is happening fastest in poorer countries. But some health systems around the globe may struggle to cope with the increased burden of an older population.
Reportagem: Mike Wooldridge
While Europe and Japan were among the first places to see their population ageing, the phenomenon is now occurring fastest in low and middle-income nations and WHO says the most dramatic changes are taking place in countries such as Cuba, Iran and Mongolia.
This means that where in the past infections were considered the greatest challenge, now even in the poorest countries the biggest health burdens for older people come from conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, dementia and sight and hearing loss.
WHO says present heath systems are poorly designed for the chronic care needs arising from this pattern of disease. The campaigning organisation HelpAge International welcomed the new focus on the impact of ageing but said the global community was still worryingly slow to act.
HelpAge cited Ghana where it said nearly sixty per cent of older people suffer from high blood pressure often leading to strokes and heart attacks but only five per cent are able to control it through medication.
ageing (envelhecendo) getting older
phenomenon (fenômeno, algo incomum que acontece) something unusual that happens
burdens (dificuldades que as pessoas têm que confrontar) difficult things people have to deal with
stroke (derrame, um problema no cérebro que pode fazer alguém perde a capacidade de mover uma parte do corpo) a problem with the brain which can make someone unable to move a part of their body
cancer (câncer, uma doença grave que faz as células no corpo crescerem fora de controle) a serious disease in which cells in the body grow uncontrollably
diabetes (diabetes, uma grave doença que faz o corpo perder a capacidade de controlar a quantidade de açúcar no sangue) a serious illness in which the body is unable to control the amount of sugar in the blood
dementia (demência, uma doença mental que afeta pessoas idosas) a mental illness which older people can suffer
chronic (crônico, descreve uma doença ou problema que persiste por um longo tempo) describes an illness or problem which continues for a long time
the global community (a comunidade global, o grupo de países que se dizem conetados, frequentemente se ajudando economica ou socialmente) the group of countries which sees itself as connected, often helping each other economically and socially
high blood pressure (pressão alta, uma condição médica na qual a força do sangue nas artérias e veias é muito alta) a medical condition in which the force of blood in the veins is too high