Department of Health Skip to content

Please note that this website has a UK government access keys system.

Ten things you need to know about long term conditions  

1. Around 15 million people in England, or almost one in three of the population, have a long term condition. This number has fallen in recent years: as people become better able and supported to manage their condition, some no longer report having one.

2. Half of people aged over 60 in England have a long term condition.

3. While the number of people in England with a long term condition is likely to remain relatively steady, the number of people with comorbidities is expected to rise by a third in the next ten years.

4. People with long term conditions are the most frequent users of healthcare services. Those with long term conditions account for 29 percent of the population, but use 50 percent of all GP appointments and 70 percent of all inpatient bed days.

5. It is estimated that the treatment and care of those with long term conditions accounts for 70 percent of the primary and acute care budget in England. This means around one third of the population account for over two thirds of the spend.

6. 7.1 million people have clinically identified hypertension. It is estimated that the same number again have unidentified hypertension, meaning that over a quarter of the population has the condition.

7. Common mental health problems affect about one in seven of the adult population, with severe mental health problems affecting one in a hundred.

8. The proportion of people with a limiting long term condition in work is a third lower than those who don’t.

9. Long term conditions fall more heavily on the poorest in society: compared to social class I, people in social class V have 60 percent higher prevalence of long term conditions and 60 percent higher severity of conditions

10. Around 170,000 people die prematurely in England each year in total, with main causes being cancers and circulatory diseases. And those with long term conditions are likely to have a lower quality of life

Access keys