Future challenges of population ageing and the health of older persons in South Africa

Jané Joubert, Medical Research Council of South Africa
Debbie Bradshaw, Medical Research Council

In Africa, South Africa is one of the most rapidly ageing populations, houses one of the largest proportions and numbers of older persons, and will continue ageing despite the AIDS pandemic. The demographic transition theory, and the theory of epidemiological and health transition inform our paper. We aim to explore the impact of population ageing on the health of the future older population by examining the current causes of death in the population 60+; current risk factors in adults 15+; and the projected increases in the older population. Descriptive analyses from different empirical and projection data sources will be performed. Preliminary results show that non-communicable diseases are responsible for 84% of deaths in the population 60+. The risk factor profile in the current adult population 15 years+ indicates concern for the health status and health care in future cohorts of older persons.

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Presented in Poster Session 4