The Strategist

Study: Preventable diseases may cost the world economy up to 15%

07/09/2020 - 02:53

According to McKinsey & Co’s estimates, global GDP is losing up to 15% of its volume annually due to premature mortality and morbidity in the population of various countries. By 2040, these losses can be halved by already known measures, such as improving the environment, spreading a healthy lifestyle and preventive medicine. Reducing the harm from already known diseases can also reduce losses from possible new pathogens like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Global GDP is losing about 15% annually only due to the early morbidity and mortality of the Earth’s population, which is several times greater than the possible loss of the world economy from the coronavirus pandemic. These conclusions were reached by experts at McKinsey consulting company, who presented their report on the prospects for healthcare development in different countries.

According to these estimates, about 17 million people die annually from chronic diseases that can be prevented, and another 8 million die from infectious diseases before they reach their 20th birthday, although vaccines for these infections exist.

4.5 million people die from various injuries, 80% of which are people of pre-retirement age, and 1 billion suffers from mental disorders. In aggregate, premature mortality leads to annual losses of 43 days of life per inhabitant of the Earth, and the presence of chronic diseases reduces the productivity of their owners by an average of 5%. In 2017, which is the calculated year in the study, this resulted in a loss of $ 12 trillion, which is comparable to the Chinese economy. At the same time, a possible decrease in world GDP this year can be only 3% to 8% due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, if the plan for the fight against coronavirus is still unclear, then, according to McKinsey analysts, the burden of most diseases can be reduced by about 40% by 2040 due to existing measures.

A 70% reduction in losses measured in years of life is possible due to improved living conditions, including environmental conditions, the spread of health-saving behavior and increased access to vaccination and other elements of preventive medicine. On the contrary, the contribution of high-tech and expensive treatment methods can bring only a third of the desired result. As a result, by 2040, various countries of the world may reduce infant mortality by 65% and increase their healthy life expectancy by at least 10 years, allowing a 65-year-old to feel 55 years old. The total number of saved lives would increase by 230 million, which, in turn, would lead to an increase in the working-age population and an increase in GDP by 8%.