There’s been a lot of speculation over the future of healthcare in recent years.
With massive influences like increasing climate change and improving medical technology, it’s hard to know just what the future holds for healthcare and the leading causes of death.
With that said, though, leading medical bodies around the world have made predictions about the leading causes of death in 10 years and how healthcare may change over the next decade.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the future of healthcare, and what the experts think will be the leading causes of death in the next 10 years.
What’s The Situation Now?
In order to understand where we’ll be in the future, we first need to understand where we are now.
According to WHO, the most common causes of death can be grouped into three categories: cardiovascular (which includes heart disease and strokes), respiratory (including COPD and respiratory infections), and neonatal conditions (such as birth asphyxia and neonatal sepsis).
Heart disease is by far the world’s biggest killer, accounting for 16% of all deaths globally.
Strokes are a close second with 11%, while COPD (or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is third with 6% of global deaths.
Other leading causes of death worldwide include other lower respiratory diseases, neonatal conditions, dementia, and other disease-caused organ failures.
Surprisingly, cancer-related deaths are not part of the top 10 leading causes, although cancer does kill almost 10 million people across the globe each year.
This accounts for around one in six deaths worldwide.
What Will Be The Leading Causes Of Death In The Next 10 Years?
Now that we know a bit more about the leading causes of death currently, let’s cast our minds 10 years into the future.
So where will healthcare be a decade from now, and will the leading causes of death be any different?
According to projections by the CDC and the Global Burden of Disease Project, cancer-related deaths are expected to become one of the leading causes of death by 2030, and might even overtake heart disease as the leading cause of death globally.
Hepatitis C will also become far more of a threat, with Hep C-related deaths increasing by as much as three times current numbers.
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are also expected to kill more people in the future, moving up to the 4th leading cause of death worldwide.
There is also concern about the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the possible repercussions they may lead to.
While there isn’t enough information on the subject to make accurate predictions about the future, these bacteria may lead to a healthcare crisis if there is no way to protect against them.
Overall, however, global death rates are expected to decrease in the future.
Improvements to healthcare will see the treatment of curable diseases and work to reduce the death rates caused by these diseases.
Additionally, there are new medical innovations every day, whether the eradication of a disease or medicine developed to treat severe illnesses.
As long as medicine can keep up with what the future holds, experts predict that people will live longer and healthier lives.
These predictions do come with a caveat, though; these models rely on the assumption that low-income countries will have the same developmental rates as higher-income countries already had, following similar mortality trends.
What Factors Affect Healthcare In The Future?
While current predictions expect the leading causes of death in the future to stay similar to the current trends, there are some things that may influence how mortality rates and causes change over the next decade.
Here are some of the biggest factors that can affect healthcare and causes of death in the future.
Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing the planet, and the effects of climate change can have a drastic effect on healthcare and the biggest causes of death in the future.
It’s estimated that between 2030 and 2050, an additional 250 thousand people will die each year due to climate change-related causes.
These include an increase in disease, malnutrition caused by food shortages, and heat stress.
It’s hard to know exactly how bad climate change will be in a decade’s time or whether we’ll be able to slow its effects, but the current projection indicates terrible damage if we go on as we are now.
As mentioned earlier, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a major cause of concern for the future of healthcare.
These are bacteria that have mutated and developed a resistance to the antibodies used to combat them, meaning that they can no longer be treated with antibiotics.
This doesn’t just mean that these ‘super-bugs’ resist treatments, however – they are also far more deadly as they can bypass your immune system.
The reason why antibiotic-resistant bacteria could be a problem in the future is if they develop a resistance strong enough to survive any treatments; for example, a dangerous transmittable disease will be far more deadly if it can’t be treated with conventional antibiotics.
However, as we said before, there isn’t enough known about antibiotic-resistant bacteria to accurately say how much of a threat they may pose a decade in the future.
In a similar vein to whether antibiotics can keep up with the bacteria that are becoming increasingly resistant to them, there is the question of how far medical technologies will develop over the next 10 years.
Generally, medical innovation is improving every day, and there are constantly new discoveries that help with the treatment of countless diseases, injuries, and disorders.
If current levels of healthcare development increase, many preventable causes of death can be reduced.
However, if medical technology can’t keep up with the times it can lead to a drastic shift in the leading causes of death worldwide.
With that said, it’s not just a question of whether healthcare in high-income countries can keep up; as mentioned previously, part of current projections relies on low-income countries following the same social and economic development that high-income countries have.
Depending on how the quality of healthcare in these low-income countries develops over the next decade, global causes of death in the future may change dramatically.
It’s hard to tell what the future holds for healthcare and causes of death.
There’s a lot that can happen in 10 years, and current projections can easily change as time goes on.
While leading causes of death are expected to change over the next decade, there are a lot of factors that can influence the future.
Overall, though, experts predict that healthcare in the future will only get better, and people will live longer, healthier, and happier lives than ever before!