Chronic diseases and health promotion

Part Two. The urgent need for action

Chapter Two. Chronic diseases and poverty

Intergenerational impact. Spotlight: Russia

The death or illness of adults from chronic disease can lead to the impoverishment of their children. To compensate for the lost productivity of a sick or disabled adult, children are often removed from school; this deprives them of the opportunity to study and gain qualifications.

The fact that an adult family member has a chronic disease can also have direct health implications for children. According to a study in Bangladesh, for example, the relative risk of a severely malnourished child coming from a household with an incapacitated income earner is 2.5 times greater than that of households which are not in such a situation.

Economic impact in the Russian Federation

Chronic diseases pose a significant threat to earnings and wage rates. People with chronic diseases in the Russian Federation, for example, retire earlier than those without, this effect being strongest for people in the lowest income groups. Chronic disease also affects the economic well-being of families, contributing to annual losses as high as 6% per capita average income. Investing in adult health could bring tangible economic returns, both for individuals and for the economic development of the country as a whole.