Monday, October 12, 2015

Half of Flemings (Flanders, Belgium) are chronically ill, says study.

Half of Flemings are chronically ill, says study

A study has shown that 50% of people in Flanders have a chronic disease, including high blood pressure, asthma, depression or type-II diabetes

Increase in “welfare diseases”

Half of the people in Flanders need long-term treatment for a chronic illness, according to a study by Intego, a network that collects data from about 380,000 patients from more than 100 GPs.
Most patients suffer from high blood pressure, asthma, depression or type-II diabetes; 1.8 million Flemings, or 30% of those who are chronically ill, have two or more chronic disorders.

The study also shows an increase in the percentage of Flemings diagnosed as chronically ill. While in 2000, 40% of surveyed patients had a chronic disorder, the percentage rose to 50% in 2013.

Bert Vaes, a researcher at the University of Leuven’s academic centre for general practice-based medicine, told De Standaard that there were various causes. “One is the ageing of the population, but diseases like cancer and HIV also become chronic diseases because they are tracked down earlier and treated better,” he said.
The increase of “welfare diseases” also plays a big role. High blood pressure, an excessive cholesterol level and type-II diabetes are conditions that can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.

There is also an increase in the long-term use of medication. In 2013, about 1.5 million Flemish people received medication for their chronic disease, a rise of more than half compared to 2000. Almost one in six people has two or more prescriptions for medication against a chronic disease, while one in 20 has five or more.

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