Almost one in three Dutch people has a chronic health condition
Five million of the Dutch population of 16.7 million have a chronic health condition, according to public health body RIVM.
The number of people with serious health problems has risen 17% over the past eight years, the RIVM said.
The increase is not just because the population is getting older but because illnesses are being identified earlier and people are living longer with them.
The number of people with multiple chronic conditions has gone up by 26% over the same period to 1.9 million. Of them, nearly 600,000 are over the age of 75.
The low-skilled are also more likely to suffer from chronic health problems. The RIVM says 79% of people with low educational levels are affected, compared with 43% of those with a university education.
According to the health ministry, there are four main types of chronic health conditions: life threatening problems such as cancer and strokes, conditions such as asthma and epilepsy, progressive diseases such as heart disease and arthritis and serious psychiatric problems.