Wales: those with a longstanding illness expected to increase along with unemployment

20 November 2020

A new report from Public Health Wales (PHW) suggests that the proportion of the population suffering from longstanding illnesses could increase by around 4% over the next three years, from 46.4% pre-pandemic to 50.3% in 2022-23.

This rise is predicted to occur in line with a predicted rise in unemployment following Covid 19, unless ‘reparative interventions’ are put in place.

The report assessed the economic consequences of Covid-19 on health conditions and health service use in Wales.

It also predicted there could be a greater increase in the percentage of adults living with limiting longstanding illnesses, from 18.1% pre-pandemic to 24.4% in 2022-23.

Longstanding illnesses include heart problems, metabolic disorders and mental health issues. Limiting illnesses are those that limit a person’s day-to-day activities.

‘We hope the findings of this report will be used to inform decision-making for the coronavirus response and recovery, and to mitigate the harmful impacts of unemployment on the health of individuals and communities,’ said Dr Mariana Dyakova at PHW. 

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