THE NATION’S HEALTH CHECK 2017
50% of people now survive cancer for at least 10 years. Annual deaths from cardiovascular disease – which includes stroke, heart attack and heart failure – have halved in the last 50 years. Life expectancy is at its highest ever, and a 65-year-old woman can expect to live to 86. Rates of cervical cancer are at their lowest for 50 years. The number of adults with diabetes has risen by more than 1.5 million in a decade. There are now 4.5 million people in the UK with diabetes – 90% of them type 2. On current predictions, half of women, 60% of men and a quarter of children will be obese by 2050. In 1975, the average BMI was a healthy 23 – today it is 27, which is considered overweight. By 2050, antibiotic resistance will be a greater health threat than cancer, experts predict. A third of us now get by on five to six hours’ sleep a night, and nearly three-quarters survive on seven hours or less. One in 10 adults takes medication for a mental health problem and one in five has thought of taking their life at some point**.