World population is rapidly ageing

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Mirtha Nordet dances several times a month to keep healthy.

Urgent action is needed to ensure that people reach old age in the best possible health.

That's the message of the World Health Organization (WHO) on World Health Day which is observed on 7 April each year.

WHO says that by the middle of this century, almost two billion people will be over 60 years of age and more than 400 million people will be 80 years old.

The agency says the main health challenges for older people everywhere are non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease.

John Beard is Director of WHO's Department of Ageing and Life Course.

"One of the key things to achieving health in older age is to live a healthy life. And that, in fact starts even before you are born, that your mother leads a healthy life, doesn't smoke and eats a good diet. But across our own lives we all need to be following healthy behaviours, not smoking, drinking within moderation, being physically active, eating healthy diet. And that gives us a platform from which we can have a healthy older age."

Duration: 24"

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
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