Bridgepoint Health Survey Highlights Gaps in Understanding of Complex Chronic Disease

    TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - The majority of Canadians are unaware of the
prevalence of complex chronic disease and its impact on society according to a
new survey released today by Bridgepoint Health.
    The survey, conducted by Harris/Decima Research, showed that 92% of
Canadians polled had heard or seen little about the problem of complex chronic
disease despite the fact that 50% of Canadian adults are living with at least
one chronic illness and 70% of people over the age of 45 have two or more
chronic diseases.
    The findings also demonstrated that 40% of those surveyed would not want
to live an additional 20 years beyond normal life expectancy for reasons of
quality of life and fears of being a burden to loved ones.
    "What this study reinforced for us is the disconnect between public
understanding of the prevalence of complex chronic disease, the number of
Canadians touched by it, how strongly Canadians feel about the issue, and how
the system needs to respond," says Marian Walsh, President and CEO,
Bridgepoint Health. "That's why we've launched a public awareness initiative
to create understanding and dialogue around this priority health issue."
    Bridgepoint Health's new awareness campaign capitalizes on the theme of
"a new disease out there" by running the names of several common chronic
diseases together to draw attention to the current reality. For example:
Osteocanceritis, Neurodiabesity, Arthrostrokoma. The campaign comprises
outdoor and transit shelter and print advertising and is supported by an
informational website (

    Bridgepoint Health is Canada's largest and most progressive health care
network focused exclusively on "changing the world" for the growing numbers of
people in need of complex medical care and rehabilitation. Bridgepoint Health
is affiliated with the University of Toronto and comprised of: Bridgepoint
Hospital, Bridgepoint Community Rehab, Bridgepoint Health Centre for Research
and Education, Bridgepoint Health Foundation and Bridgepoint Family Health
Team. Visit for more information.

            Bridgepoint Health - Public Opinion Survey Highlights

    -   69% of Canadians confirmed that they - or someone close to them - are
        living with Complex Chronic Disease.

    -   4 out of 5 Canadians perceive Complex Chronic Disease to have a large
        or very large impact on the country.

    -   Yet, 92% claim they are not hearing about Complex Chronic Disease.

    -   Barely half (52%) of Canadians feel the current health care system is
        meeting the needs of individuals with chronic disease.

    -   And, when it comes to meeting the needs of people living with Complex
        Chronic disease, 60% of Canadians rated the system as fair or poor.

    -   Beyond a need for funding, Canadians cited the following as key
        shortcomings of the system:
           - Finding organizations and health professionals with specialized
           - Knowing how to navigate the system
           - Ensuring that health professionals have the knowledge they need,
             and that research is underway to keep advancing that knowledge.

    -   Canadians identified the following solutions as extremely important
        in making a difference for people living with Complex Chronic
           - 60% cited better access to specialized professionals as the most
             important solution to improve the system
           - 59% cited more focus on preventing chronic disease
           - 54% cited more research into the field
           - 53% cited more available in-home support

    -   Respondents said they expect to live a healthy life for 76.3 years.

    -   When asked if they would like to live an additional 20 years beyond
        that, nearly 40% said "no thanks".
           - Biggest concerns were having a poor quality of life or not
             living well, or becoming a burden.

    The survey was conducted on behalf of Bridgepoint Health using
Harris/Decima's online consumer panel with a national random sample of 1,351
Canadian adults between October 5th and 11th, 2007. It has an associated
margin of error of +/- 2.7%, 19 times out of 20.

For further information:

For further information: Tom Poldre, Bernadette Seward - Communications,
Bridgepoint Health, (416) 461-8251; Enez Perkins,,
(647) 292-6253; or Bev Jenkins,, (647) 204-1845

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