Global health focus transitions to the elderly, chronic disease

Global health needs are evolving from a focus on infectious diseases to chronic disease and from diseases of the young to those of the growing elderly population, according to international experts who spoke in March 2012 at Harvard Business School. The “Innovations in Health Care Think Tank” program was chaired by former Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Dean Barry R. Bloom and sponsored by Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. Topics ranged from U.S. health care reform and health disparities to the private sector’s role in global health.

Bloom, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and Jacobson Professor of Public Health at HSPH, told students, faculty, and Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellows that the changing health focus reflects increasing longevity. In addition, there has been success in combating many infectious diseases but heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases are growing globally as more people lead unhealthy lifestyles.

Read coverage in the Harvard Gazette

Learn more

Energized, Global Effort Needed to Target Noncommunicable Diseases (HSPH Feature)

Strengthening Health Systems to Address New Challenge Diseases (NCDs) (Harvard Public Health Review)

New Report New Report Pegs Economic Toll of Noncommunicable Diseases at $47 Trillion Over Next Two Decades (HSPH Feature)

Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Department of Global Health and Population