Changes in behaviors and the projected health benefits for members of Healthy Ageing Centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina

No. of pages: 10

Publication date: 2020

Author: UNFPA, PPH and UCL

Publisher: UNFPA, PPH and UCL

Due to a combination of low birth rates and migration of young people to Western Europe, countries in Eastern Europe have an increasingly aging population. This includes Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), where 17% of people were over the age of 65  in 2019, with projections for this to reach more than 25% by 2050. A majority of research and medical funding for ageing is targeted to treating diseases and medical conditions associated with ageing, such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, cancer, hearing loss and vision loss. Preventative approaches for healthy ageing receive less emphasis; however, promoting healthy ageing could potentially reduce the risk for numerous diseases, or at least delay the age of onset. Given the high costs of treating diseases, interventions for healthy ageing could provide a cost-effective way to reduce medical and societal costs associated with an ageing population and provide increased quality of life for older people. In general, a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a healthy diet with moderate-to-low alcohol use, regular social interactions and not smoking is associated with a reduction of many age-related diseases, including dementia, cancer, stroke, and heart-related diseases.