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Ep.134: Gli australiani vivono più a lungo, ma con una peggiore qualità della vita

A pharmacist checking a customers blood sugar levels with an insulin pen. Source: Digital Vision

Potremmo anche vivere più a lungo, ma la nostra qualità di vita sta diminuendo, a causa di malattie ampiamente prevenibili come il diabete e l’obesità.

SCARICA la trascrizione col testo a fronte in inglese.    

Italian

Vivere più a lungo non può che essere considerata una buona notizia.

Ma per molti australiani quegli anni aggiuntivi arrivano con il fardello di una cattiva salute. 

Bill Stavreski è il Direttore Generale della Salute e Ricerca Cardiaca alla Heart Foundation of Australia. 

"The great news is life expectancy is on the rise and that has been the case for the last 50 years. But we are living with more chronic conditions. More Australians have more co-morbidities. Whether that's living with heart disease, living with diabetes, so what it is showing this research is we are living longer, but unfortunately we are not having the enjoyment and the quality of life." 

Un australiano che nasce oggi può aspettarsi di vivere sei anni più a lungo rispetto a chi nasceva 30 anni fa. 

L’indice ha rilevato che i cinque maggiori fattori di rischio associati ad un alto numero di decessi in Australia nel 2019 sono stati l’alta pressione, seguita da rischi alimentari, uso di tabacco, indice di massa corporea elevato e un elevato livello di glucosio nel plasma. 

Poco più di 25.500 decessi sono stati associati alla pressione cardiaca elevata. 

Stavreski sostiene che ci sono fattori ambientali e genetici collegati all’alta pressione. 

"High blood pressure can be attributed to both but there are many things people can do to ensure that they look after their blood pressure levels. Many of those things are not only being active, improving your diet, reducing your salt intake, making sure you don't have salty foods on a regular basis but it's also important to have your regular heart health checks with your doctor and stay on top of your blood pressure levels." 

I risultati più recenti giungono mentre il COVID-19 presenta ostacoli unici a chi cerca assistenza per malattie croniche, con meno visite dal medico registrate durante la pandemia per i controlli di routine. 

Una nota positiva nell’indice è che i decessi in Australia per malattie cardiache continuano a diminuire, grazie alle migliori cure negli ospedali e nella comunità. 

Il professor Garry Jennings è il consulente medico capo alla Heart Foundation. 

Sostiene che le altre malattie che rendono i nostri ultimi anni più difficili esistono globalmente e non sono limitate all’Australia. 

"We are doing pretty well but not as well as we would like. We are showing continual rates of reduction in most age groups in men and women. We still have some huge rates as far as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people concerned and various other low socio-economic and disadvantaged in the community. So there is a lot to be done as far as equity is concerned. But the big rise in these conditions is in lower and middle  income countries around the world which are seeing a change from infectious diseases to these chronic conditions." 

Il professor Jennings sostiene che sono inoltre le persone che vengono da comunità con una lingua madre diversa dall’inglese che stanno riscontrando tassi più elevati di queste malattie croniche in Australia. 

"We see different rates among recent refugees, we see different rates according to different socio-economic differentials. People in poor suburbs are more likely to suffer from heart disease. People with low incomes and rural and remote communities. They are just an example of where we need to target our heart health and some of our other health measures." 

L’indice ha riscontrato come i problemi alimentari contribuiscano alla seconda più elevata causa di morte in Australia. 

L’indice ha rilevato che nel 2019 sono decedute per rischi legati all’alimentazione 21.600 persone in più rispetto all’uso del tabacco. 

Jane Martin è la direttrice esecutiva della Obesity Policy. Vorrebbe che la strategia nazionale per l’obesità che sarà pubblicata a breve facesse di più per affrontare l’epidemia dell’obesità. 

"And we would hope to see some of the policies that are recommended globally to address this problem in that strategy. And they are things like protecting children from this incessant bombardment of unhealthy food marketing. Improving labelling of food by making the health star rating mandatory and put things like a health levy on sugary drinks to increase the price and that can provide funds for obesity prevention. We have a serious problem. Two-thirds of adults a quarter of children - it's not going away and we need to take some of those steps to ensure.” 

English

Living longer can only be considered a good news story.

But for many Australians - those extra years come with the burden of poor health. 

Bill Stavreski is the General Manager of Heart Health and Research at the Heart Foundation of Australia. 

"The great news is life expectancy is on the rise and that has been the case for the last 50 years. But we are living with more chronic conditions. More Australians have more co-morbidities. Whether that's living with heart disease, living with diabetes, so what it is showing this research is we are living longer, but unfortunately we are not having the enjoyment and the quality of life." 

An Australian born today can expect to live six years longer than someone born 30 years ago.  

The Index found the top five risk factors associated with high numbers of deaths in Australia in 2019, were high blood pressure, followed by dietary risks, tobacco use, high body-mass index, and high fasting plasma glucose. 

Just over 25,500 deaths were associated with high blood pressure. 

Mr Stavreski says there are environmental and genetic factors linked to high blood pressure. 

"High blood pressure can be attributed to both but there are many things people can do to ensure that they look after their blood pressure levels. Many of those things are not only being active, improving your diet, reducing your salt intake, making sure you don't have salty foods on a regular basis but it's also important to have your regular heart health checks with your doctor and stay on top of your blood pressure levels." 

The latest findings come as COVID-19 presents unique barriers for people seeking help for chronic conditions with fewer visits to the doctor for routine check-ups noted during the pandemic. 

One positive noted in the index, is Australian deaths from heart disease continue to decline due to better care in hospitals and the community. 

Professor Garry Jennings is the Chief Medical Advisor at the Heart Foundation. 

He says the other conditions that are making our latter years more difficult are occurring globally and are not unique to Australia. 

"We are doing pretty well but not as well as we would like. We are showing continual rates of reduction in most age groups in men and women. We still have some huge rates as far as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people concerned and various other low socio-economic and disadvantaged in the community. So there is a lot to be done as far as equity is concerned. But the big rise in these conditions is in lower and middle  income countries around the world which are seeing a change from infectious diseases to these chronic conditions." 

Professor Jennings says it's also people from non-English speaking background communities who are experiencing higher rates of these chronic conditions in Australia. 

"We see different rates among recent refugees, we see different rates according to different socio-economic differentials. People in poor suburbs are more likely to suffer from heart disease. People with low incomes and rural and remote communities. They are just an example of where we need to target our heart health and some of our other health measures. " 

The index found dietary issues contribute to the second highest cause of death in Australia. 

The index found in 2019, 21,600 more people died from dietary related risks than tobacco use. 

Jane Martin is the Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition. 

She would  like to to see a national obesity strategy due to be released shortly do more to tackle the obesity epidemic. 

"And we would hope to see some of the policies that are recommended globally to address this problem in that strategy. And they are things like protecting children from this incessant bombardment of unhealthy food marketing. Improving labelling of food by making the health star rating mandatory and put things like a health levy on sugary drinks to increase the price and that can provide funds for obesity prevention. We have a serious problem. Two-thirds of adults a quarter of children - it's not going away and we need to take some of those steps to ensure.” 

Report by Peggy Giakoumelos  

 

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