The number of people in high income countries dying with "severe suffering associated with health" is about to jump more than 50% by 2060, experts have said.
Cancer and dementia will increase the numbers requiring palliative care in most countries worldwide, including the UK, according to a new study.
Severe health-related suffering is defined as suffering leading to palliative care and pain relief.
The new research, published in The Lancet Global Health, found that the number of people dying with palliative care needs is set to almost double over the next four decades.
By 2060, it is estimated that 48 million people each year would die with severe health-related suffering, around 47% of all deaths, and an increase of 87% compared to 2016. .
Most of these people would be in low and middle income countries but this would affect high income countries like the UK.
In high-income countries, three million more people would die with severe health-related suffering in 2060, an increase of 57% from 2016 – from around five million to around eight million t .
Globally, the increase in severe health-related suffering would be driven by an increase in cancer deaths – 16 million people die each year with severe health-related suffering by 2060, t an increase of 109% on 2016.
For dementia, six million people would die each year with severe health-related suffering by 2060 – an increase of 264% on 2016.
In high income countries, 2.34 million people in 2016 died with severe health-related suffering caused by cancer, rising to 3.23 million in 2060, and for dementia the jump from 575,000 people in 2016 to 1.76 million. in 2060.
The study made projections about the number of people who would suffer from health related suffering as they had been but they considered whether people would receive palliative care and whether the care would be of a good standard. .
Lead author Dr Katherine Sleeman, honorary consultant in palliative medicine at the Cicely Saunders Institute at King's College, London, said: "The number of people dying with severe health suffering in high income countries (for example the UK) ) increase by 57% between 2016 and 2060.
"This means that, in high income countries, for every 100 people who die today with palliative care needs, by 2060 there will be more than 150.
"Cancer and dementia will be the main driver of this increase.
"Research has shown that palliative care can reduce suffering for people approaching the end of their lives by improving symptoms such as pain, improving their quality of life, increasing the chances of dying at home, and reducing the risk of death." probability of emergency admission to hospital.
"In the light of the projected increase in the number of people dying with severe health-related suffering, the provision of high quality palliative care services should be a policy priority."