Modifying lifestyle and avoiding habits as harmful as the consumption of tobacco and alcohol, we could avoid developing 80% of the most common chronic diseases in our country, such as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, respiratory diseases -EPOC, asthma ... - e, even, one in three cancers.

These pathologies consume, in addition, 70% of the health budget in Spain. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that chronic diseases they are already, and will continue to be, due above all to the progressive aging of the population, an important burden for all health systems, so that their proper management represents a great challenge for society, in which both health professionals should be involved. the patients themselves.

The significant increase in the incidence of chronic diseases has been described by some experts as the 'XXI century pandemic'

The significant increase in the incidence of chronic diseases has been described by some experts as the 'XXI century pandemic', which is why it is essential to establish preventive measures as soon as possible and act against the risk factors that favor the appearance of these pathologies, to achieve a healthy and active aging and, at the same time, avoid a possible collapse of the health system that would be detrimental to the quality of life of those affected.

Dr. José Augusto García Navarro, of the University Hospital Sant Joan de Reus (Tarragona), highlights the important role that the geriatrics in the treatment of patients with chronic diseases, especially when dealing with people with more than one disease, and who frequently suffer physical dependence associated with these diseases.

According to this specialist, it is necessary to adapt the health system to improve the follow-up of these patients and the complications associated with their illness, which would also allow avoiding exacerbations that lead the patient to the emergency service repeatedly, as well as hospital readmissions.

In this sense, the acute care units of geriatrics in hospitals are very useful, where exacerbations of chronic diseases and the complications derived from them are treated; while the geriatric rehabilitation units contribute to a better and faster recovery of patients who have had to remain hospitalized for a long time, due to their illness or an accident.

Dr. Garcia affirms that the key is to establish a close collaboration between primary care -whose professionals can guide patients to adopt healthy habits of life and maintain a correct management of the disease-, and hospital geriatrics -which would take care of the treatment of patients with more complex conditions.

Source: Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology

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