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Life-limiting diseases are 'more common than thought'

Life-limiting diseases are 'more common than thought'
12th March 2012

The number of children surviving into adulthood with life-limiting diseases is higher than previously thought.

A study by researchers at the University of Leeds revealed that the number of children and young adults with life-limiting conditions has been underestimated and is still increasing every year.

Life-limiting diseases are considered to be those to which there is no "reasonable hope of a cure" and which will eventually cause the child to die, however life-threatening conditions – such as cancer – were also included in this study.

If the figures continue in their upward trend, the burden on paediatric palliative care providers and young adult services will be particularly challenging.

"This study affords a real opportunity to better understand need and should help commissioners and service providers alike to better plan and deliver sustainable services when and where they are most needed," said Barbara Gelb, chief executive officer of the UK children's palliative care charity, Together for Short Lives.

Earlier this month the government announced a £100million boost to investment in clinical studies in order to help research into rare illnesses.

The Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Children's Hospital among the organisations set to benefit.

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