Research Topic

Chronic Illness and Ageing in China

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About this Research Topic

China’s population is ageing and, like many countries, the major disease burden is chronic illnesses. Today, life expectancy in China is 76 years, an increase in 17 years since 1970. In 2016, 10.8% of the population were aged 65 years and over and by 2050 this will increase to 25%. China’s population is ...

China’s population is ageing and, like many countries, the major disease burden is chronic illnesses. Today, life expectancy in China is 76 years, an increase in 17 years since 1970. In 2016, 10.8% of the population were aged 65 years and over and by 2050 this will increase to 25%. China’s population is ageing more rapidly than other countries. In China those aged 65 years and over will grow from 7% to 14 % in a period of 26 years, compared to Australia which took 73 years, and the US which took 69 years to achieve this growth. Closely linked to the shift in ageing profile is the transition in health, involving a progressive shift in the burden of disease away from communicable disorders and injuries to chronic non-communicable diseases. Almost 80% of all deaths in people living in China aged 60 years or over are attributable to chronic non-communicable disease. The chance of dying prematurely in China from an NCD is double that of other countries. In people aged 60 years and over in China the main diseases contributing to burden are ischaemic heart disease, stroke, COPD, and diabetes. Behavioural risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, sedentary behaviour, insufficient dietary intake, and high BMI contribute significantly to the prevention and management of these conditions. Population ageing has a major impact on the numbers of people with at least one chronic illness.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to examine: chronic illness patterns and health system responses in the context of population ageing in China; behavioural risk factors in the prevention and management of chronic illnesses; workforce requirements to address chronic illness prevention and management; and health and primary health care policy responses to population ageing and the burden of disease in China.

This Research Topic seeks papers that address: chronic illness patterns and behavioural risk factors in China, specific chronic illnesses including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, amongst others, as well as papers addressing specific behavioural risk factors such as physical activity, smoking, and diet. Papers will also provide an analysis of health and primary health care policy in China and workforce requirements to address chronic illness prevention and management in the context of population ageing. Public health and primary health care interventions are also within the scope of this Research Topic as well as psychological co-morbidity in chronic illness. The focus of the Research Topic is older adults (aged 50 years and over).

Article types welcome include original research, case report, empirical study, evaluation, commentary, systematic review, mini-reviews, opinion, clinical trial, and policy brief.


Keywords: China, Chronic illness, aging, behavioral risk factors, primary care services, chronic illness management


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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