Friday, March 2, 2012

Chronic diseases are taking a toll on Canadians

Canada ranks 10th in population health among 17 countries in The Conference Board of Canada's 2012 Health report card. Chronic diseases are exacting a toll on the country; in addition to affecting the health of Canadians, these diseases strain the resources of the health care system. Compared to its international peers, Canada gets relatively poor "C" grades on mortality rates due to cancer, diabetes, and musculoskeletal system diseases. If Canada earned an "A" grade on these three indicators, it would move up to 4th place overall in the How Canada Performs Health report card. "Canada is facing a growing burden from chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. This burden is expected to increase due to an aging population and rising rates of obesity," said Gabriela Prada, Director, Health, Innovation, Policy and Evaluation. "The future health of Canadians depends not only on the quality of the health care system, but also on education about chronic disease risk factors and increased emphasis on prevention." The Health report card assesses the overall health status of Canadians against that of citizens in 16 other industrialized countries on 11 indicators. Canada receives a "B" grade overall. Canada earns "A" grades on three health indicators: self-reported health status; mortality due to circulatory diseases (primarily heart disease and stroke); and premature mortality

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