Journal of Public Health

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 345–351 | Cite as

More than just aging societies: the demographic change has an impact on actual numbers of patients

  • Konstanze Fendrich
  • Wolfgang Hoffmann
Original Article



The purpose of this paper is to estimate the number of patients resulting from the aging of the population for selected diseases (colon cancer, myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus and dementia) in 2012 and 2020 compared to 2002 based on the Federal State of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania as a model for Germany.

Data sources

The population projection considers fertility, migration and age-specific mortality in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. The calculation of patient number is based on age-specific incidence or prevalence from population-based epidemiological studies and/or registers.

Study design

The population for 2012 and 2020 is projected for 1-year gender-specific age-cohorts. The demographic projection is then used for the estimation of age- and gender-specific numbers of patients.


While the total population will decrease by 10.5% in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania by 2012, both the proportion and the absolute number of people older than 64 years will increase (2002: 294,000; 2012: 349,000; 2020: 382,000). Asa consequence, the incident number of patients with colon cancer will increase by 24.4% by 2012 (+30.9% in 2020) and with myocardial infarction by 27.5% by 2012 (+40.9% in 2020).


The demographic change will lead to an absolute increase of patients with colon cancer, myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus and dementia. At the same time the age-spectrum of patients with these diseases will shift towards older ages.


Demographic change Patient number Elderly Health services research 



This work was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (NBL3 program, reference 01ZZ0403).

Conflict of interest statement

The authors disclose any relevant associations that might pose a conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Community Medicine, Section Epidemiology of Health Care and Community HealthErnst-Moritz-Arndt-University of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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