The Royal College of Physicians has responded to the Health Foundation's Health in 2040: projected patterns of illness in England report.
The report projects there will be 2.5 million more people in England living with a major illness, such as cancer, diabetes and kidney disease, by 2040.
Dr Sarah Clarke, President of the Royal College of Physicians, said:
“The projections laid out in the Health Foundation’s report will quite frankly be catastrophic – for people and their families, for the health of the NHS and its workforce, and for the prosperity of the nation.
“We know that much of this illness is avoidable – it’s caused by smoking, poor housing, unemployment, poor food and air quality, and obesity. It is in the gift of the government to do something about all these things.
“This must surely be a wake-up call for the prime minister that we have to put health at the heart of government. We need a strategy that pulls at every policy lever available in order to build a healthier society and economy.”