As the island’s population increases, so too will its waistline, with thousands more people expected to be obese by 2036.
The figures come as part of a review undertaken by the Public Health Statistics Unit, which show that nearly 10% of islanders - 12,000 people out of a population of 130,000 - will be obese in just under 20 years.
Obesity is a known risk factor for numerous health problems, including high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some forms of cancer, and hypertension (high blood pressure) - the latter of which is set to rise by as much as 46% to 21,400 people.
Pictured: Hypertension currently affects 14% of islanders.
Other chronic diseases are also expected to see an increase in the number of patients. Heart failure is estimated to increase by 75% and affect a total of 1,400 patients in 2036 - 600 patients more than 2016. The number of people with chronic kidney disease are expected to rocket by 74% from 2,700 to around 4,700.
Dementia will be twice as prevalent by 2036, while the number of patients requiring palliative care is estimated to almost double, from around 400 patients currently to around 800 in 20 years' time.
Among the 10 chronic diseases investigated, asthma is the one which will see the slowest projection with only 25% people more affected in 2036. The proportion of the population affected would remain below 5.1%.
Pictured: The projected number of people affected by chronic diseases over the next 20 years.
To cope with the change in the island’s health profile, the projections show that there will be an additional 70,000 GP consultations each year in nine years’ time, bringing the total to 502,000 - 33% than 2016 (430,000). The number of general practice staff would also have to increase by a third to reach 133 by the next 20 years.
The analysis was based on the assumption that the patterns of disease prevalence observed at the end of 2016 will continue, meaning that the Stats Unit didn't take into account any possible worsening in health conditions. The projection also took into account an additional 1,000 people coming to the island every year over the next 20 years.
The impact of the ageing of the current population was also explored by considering an artificial migration scenario with no inward or outward migration. This imaginary 'lockdown' showed similar results to the migration one for the conditions that mostly affect elderly members of the population, such as coronary heart disease and chronic kidney disease. The number of people affected would increase by 63% and 74% respectively. This indicates that there will not necessarily be more cases, but that as people got older the diseases become more frequent.
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