World health organization

10 facts on ageing and the life course

An older woman sitting.
HelpAge International/U Myo Thame

The most common health conditions in older age are noncommunicable diseases

Older people in low- and middle-income countries carry a greater disease burden than those in the rich world.

Regardless of where they live the biggest killers of older people are heart disease, stroke and chronic lung disease. The greatest causes of disability are sensory impairments (particularly in low- and lower-middle-income countries), back and neck pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (particularly in low- and lower-middle-income countries), depressive disorders, falls, diabetes, dementia and osteoarthritis.”

© WHO. All rights reserved.