And the survey says… as Immunization Awareness Week begins, Canadians have a long list when it comes to their health priorities

And the survey says… as Immunization Awareness Week begins, Canadians have a long list when it comes to their health priorities

Kudos to Canadians For Improving Health Protection Priorities - Immunizations Are a Simple Step To Protect

TORONTO, April 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Whether it is the twice-weekly spin class, opting for a salad over the burger and fries combo or 'butts' out for the bad smoking habit, Canadians are making strides to improve their own personal health as well as their families', but there are some additional simple steps they can add that could be life-saving.

As Canada embarks on a week dedicated to awareness and education during Immunization Awareness Week, not all Canadians understand the power of improving the entire family's protection against potentially serious diseases through routine immunizations. Leger recently polled more than 1500 adults across Canada to better understand what Canadians have prioritized to protect their and their family's health and what they would like to do in the future.  The list of priorities may not surprise you:

Canadian's "Top Priorities" When it Comes to Health Protection1

  1. Eat healthy (64%)
  2. Exercise regularly (44%)
  3. Take vitamins/supplements (25%)
  4. Lose weight (24%)
  5. Apply sunscreen (21%)
  6. Stay at home when sick (19%)
  7. Schedule regular visits with the doctor (18%)
  8. Ensure smoke/carbon monoxide detectors are working in my home (16%)
  9. Quit smoking (15%)
  10. Ensure immunizations are up to date (14%)
  11. Limit alcohol intake (11%)
  12. Purchase organic food (5%)

Although low on the list - with only fourteen per cent of respondents indicating this is a TOP priority -immunizations are a simple step to help protect against potentially serious PREVENTABLE diseases.  Although immunizations are heralded as one of the greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century2, eradicating some of the world's most deadly infectious diseases3, it appears Canadians could learn a bit more about just how important this health protection step is.

"The fact that immunizations made it on the list of Canadian's TOP health priorities is a good sign - immunizations are proven to help prevent serious illness and even death," says Dr. Vivien Brown, family physician from the University of Toronto. "My goal is to help everyone understand the importance of protecting ourselves - many Canadians may not have been exposed to the impact of potentially serious infections like pneumococcal disease (meningitis, pneumonia, sepsis and bacteremia)."

Pneumococcal disease (PD) is the most common cause of vaccine-preventable death worldwide in children younger than five.4  It can occur in the lungs (pneumonia), the blood (sepsis/bacteremia) and in the brain (meningitis).5 All of these illnesses can be potentially life-threatening to young children and the important thing to remember is it can be prevented in most cases.6

According to the survey, only 30 per cent were aware of pneumococcal disease and even fewer were aware of its potentially devastating effects.7

"As a mother I know that there is pressure from multiple sides to not eat this type of food, make sure you give your children this vitamin, and all of these messages can be overwhelming and drown out other important measures," says renowned author and mother of four, Kathy Buckworth.  "It is incredibly important to make sure you ask the right questions and maintain an open dialogue with your physician to ensure you are prioritizing those steps that are critical to help protect your family's health from potentially serious diseases like PD."

From April 20th to April 27th, Canadians coast-to-coast will celebrate the positive impact of immunizations during Immunization Awareness Week.  It is important for everyone to speak with a physician and understand the importance of making immunizations a priority.  For more information on pneumococcal disease and immunization, please visit: www.urimmunized.com.

About the Survey
A survey of 1502 Canadians was completed online between March 26th and March 28th, 2013 using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb.

A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.3%, 19 times out of 20.

REFERENCES

1 Leger Omnibus Survey Results - April 2013
2 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00056796.htm
3 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00056796.htm
4 http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/ivac/resources/solutions-pneumococcal-disease-prevention-treatment.html
5 http://www.nfid.org/factsheets/pneumofacts.shtml Last accessed: August 30th, 2011
6 http://www.nfid.org/factsheets/pneumofacts.shtml Last accessed: August 30th, 2011
7 Leger Omnibus Survey Results - April 2013

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SOURCE: beSPEAK Communications

For further information:

Ethan Pigott
beSPEAK Communications
(416) 558-2783
ethan@bespeakcommunications.com