I recently attended the first Summit on Active Ageing and Healthy Skin. The event was hosted by Manchester City Council, Manchester University, the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), and was supported by Galderma. As skin health has been identified as a critical component of active and healthy ageing, the aim of the Summit was therefore to discuss ways of raising awareness and educating the global public health community on the importance of maintaining good skin health over the course of people’s lives. We looked at ways of changing the perception of aging through global partnerships in the ageing and dermatology fields, through developing research to increase our understanding of the science of skin ageing and its physical, mental and social implications, through the establishment of a Global Network for Centres of Excellence on Skin Ageing, and through developing core curricula and training programs in medical and nursing schools, to name but a few.
Below you will find the press release that was issued last week. I will update you on the progress of our collective actions which are set up over the next few months.
Skin Health Identified as Critical Component of Active and Healthy Ageing as Global Experts Gather for 2014 Manchester Summit
First Summit on Active Ageing and Healthy Skin Convenes in Manchester, Europe’s Premier Age-friendly City
MANCHESTER, UK (23 June 2014) – For the first time, ageing and dermatology experts and global thought leaders have come together to promote skin health as a critical component of active and healthy ageing. There is an opportunity to educate the global public health community of the positive impact good skin health across the life course has on individuals, families and health systems, according to more than 20 medical, academic, non-profit, government and business leaders participating in today’s “Manchester Summit: A Life Course of Active Ageing and Healthy Skin.”
The Summit is hosted by Manchester City Council, The University of Manchester, International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) and Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), and supported by Galderma.
“Our skin is the first line of defence against illness and the hazards of the environment,” said Professor Chris Griffiths, Foundation Professor of Dermatology at The University of Manchester, and Board Member of the International League of Dermatological Societies. “As we age, skin becomes frailer, making it weaker, dryer, thinner and more susceptible to irritation, infection and with poor wound healing. This vulnerability has implications on individuals, communities and health systems.”
According to UN calculations, there will be 1 billion people 60 years and older on earth by 2020. Shortly thereafter, there will be more people in this category than children under 14. This shift raises concerns for the global health community as the prevalence of skin diseases will rise and have implications for social and economic policy.
“As lifespans increase and birthrates decrease, conditions that are widely associated with growing old, including the deterioration of our skin, become more prevalent,” said Michael W. Hodin, PhD, Executive Director of the Global Coalition on Aging. “We cannot continue to operate within systems created for 20th-century demographics. We need a new approach that focusses on prevention and care across the life course to drive efficiencies in healthcare costs and contribute to a more fiscally sustainable economy.”
As non-communicable diseases rise with age, so too do skin diseases and the risks associated with them like falls and hospital re-admissions. For instance, the symptoms of diabetes can lead to diabetic foot infection, which can lead to poor balance. Likewise, for virtually all cancer patients, targeted therapies, chemotherapy and radiotherapy result in uncomfortable and painful drug-induced dermatosis.
Further, one in every three cancers diagnosed is skin cancer, and 82 percent of non-melanoma skin cancer cases occur in people over 60. One out of every two people over 65 suffers from xerosis, intense dryness of the skin, which can lead to infection and wounds. In addition to the physical effects and medical costs, these conditions have psychological effects and impact quality of life.
The Manchester Summit is a one-day discussion, which aims to address the link between skin health and active ageing, and foster partnerships and collaboration focused on research, training and practical applications to ensure healthy skin is a priority for 21st-century active ageing.
“Manchester has long been committed to enabling our older citizens to stay healthy, mobile and active in society through our participation in the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities,” said Paul McGarry, Senior Strategy Manager of Age-friendly Manchester for Manchester City Council. “We are proud to be hosting the Summit and to be leading the way for healthy skin as a core component of age-friendly initiatives globally.”
One strategy that will be discussed will be the establishment of a Global Network of Centres of Excellence on Skin Ageing Across the Life Course to align the goals of the ageing and dermatology communities; develop a research agenda to enhance understanding of the science of skin ageing and the resulting physical, mental and social effects; and analyse the economic and fiscal impact of healthy skin on active and healthy ageing.
“Maintaining healthy skin across the life course must be made a priority on the global heath and ageing agenda,” said Humberto C. Antunes, President and CEO of Galderma, the Summit’s supporting partner. “The Manchester Summit is a bold first step, aligning medical, business, government, NGO and academic communities to create and implement local and global strategies to encourage healthy skin ageing.”
About Manchester City Council
Age-friendly Manchester aims to improve the quality of life for the ageing in the city of Manchester. The team, based in Manchester City Council’s Public Health Unit, was formed in 2003, partly in response to research that demonstrated high levels of social isolation and loneliness amongst the ageing in the borough. Age-friendly Manchester is guided by the Manchester Ageing Strategy, launched in 2009, which sets out a 10 year plan to make Manchester “A Great Place to Grow Older.”
About The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group of British universities, is the largest and most popular university in the UK. It has 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance. According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is one of the country’s major research institutions, rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’, and has had no fewer than 25 Nobel laureates either work or study there. The University had an annual income of £807 million in 2011/12.
About the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS)
The International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) is a non-governmental organization in official relations with the World Health Organization. ILDS promotes partnerships and cooperation within the dermatology field, and encourages worldwide advancement of dermatological education, care, and sciences.
About the Global Coalition on Aging
The Global Coalition on Aging aims to reshape how global leaders approach and prepare for the 21st century’s profound shift in population aging. Through research, public policy analysis, advocacy and strategic communications, GCOA is advancing innovative solutions and working to ensure global aging is a path for fiscally sustainable economic growth, social value creation and wealth enhancement. For more information, visit www.globalcoalitiononaging.com.
Galderma is a global dermatology company committed to delivering innovative medical solutions to meet the needs of people throughout their lifetime while serving healthcare professionals around the world. Galderma has 34 wholly-owned affiliates and a worldwide network of distributors, approximately 5,000 employees and an extensive product portfolio available in 80 countries. With approximately 19% of revenues invested each year to discover and develop new dermatology solutions and products and access innovative technologies, the dermatology company is one of the world’s leading investors in dermatology R&D.