Expected annual number of hospital days until 2050. Photo credits: Oksuzyan A, Höhn A, Krabbe Pedersen J, Rau R, Lindahl-Jacobsen R, Christensen K (2020) – PLOS ONE, CC BY
According to a study published on September 30 in the open access journal PLOS, the number of days they spend in hospitals is expected to double in the next few decades by 2050 ONE by Anna Oksuzyan from Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and Colleagues. As the authors found, the results suggest that the Danish population needs a health-trained workforce that is specifically trained in geriatrics.
The declining mortality trends in high to low income countries are expected to rapidly increase the proportion of elderly people in the next few decades. As age is associated with an increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (such as cancer, circulatory diseases, and dementia), the aging of the population poses challenges to health systems, including hospital environments. However, only a small fraction of the literature has examined the effects of population aging on usage patterns of hospital care at the national level. Very little is known about changes in the demand for hospital care in European healthcare. In the new study, Oksuzyan and her staff described the demographic profile of hospital use, including inpatient and emergency rooms, in Danish hospitals in 2013 for the Danish population (N = 5.63 million). They also estimated the expected number of hospital days by age and gender by 2050.
The total number of hospital days per year is expected to increase by 42% from 4.66 to 6.72 million days between 2013 and 2050. While small changes are forecast for the population between the ages of 0 and 69, the greatest change is forecast for the population aged 70 and over. The values for 2013 were 0.82 and 0.93 million days for men and women aged 70 and over. These values are expected to double by 2050, reaching 1.94 and 1.84 million days, respectively. While the population aged 70 and over made up 37.5% of all days in 2013, their contribution is to increase to 56.2% by 2050. According to the authors, the aging of the population requires nurturing a positive attitude among health care providers towards the elderly and nurturing careers in geriatrics in order to attract young professionals to the profession and to meet the needs of a rapidly growing number of aged patients.
The authors add, “With the rapidly growing population of the elderly, the demand for geriatric care in hospitals will increase in most high-income countries. Our study shows that from 2013 to 2050, the contribution of patients aged 70 and over to the total will increase the number of days in a hospital can more than double. This realization underscores the urgent need to attract young specialists to the field of geriatrics. ”
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Oksuzyan A, Höhn A, Krabbe Pedersen J, Rau R, Lindahl-Jacobsen R, Christensen K (2020) Preparing for the future: The changing demographic composition of hospital patients in Denmark between 2013 and 2050. PLoS ONE 15 (9): e0238912 . doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0238912 Provided by the Public Library of Science
Quote: Older Danish people forecast to consume a growing share of hospital care by 2050 (2020, September 30th). This was accessed on September 30, 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-older-danish-individuals-consume-hospital.html
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