OTTAWA, March 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada ranks 10th in population health among 17 countries in The Conference Board of Canada's 2012 Health report card (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Health.aspx). 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 (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/default.aspx) 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 (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/HCP/Details/Health.aspx#Indicators). Canada receives a "B" grade overall. Canada earns "A" grades on three health indicators:
- self-reported health status (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/HCP/Details/health/self-reported-health-status.aspx);
- mortality due to circulatory diseases (primarily heart disease and stroke) (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Health/mortality-circulatory-diseases.aspx); and
- premature mortality (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Health/premature-mortality-rate.aspx).
Canada receives "B" grades on mortality due to mental disorders (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Health/mortality-mental-disorders.aspx) and mortality due to respiratory diseases (which include asthma, tuberculosis, bronchiolitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, influenza, and pneumonia). (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Health/mortality-respiratory-system.aspx)
However, Canada performs poorly on the prevention and management of three chronic diseases:
- mortality due to musculoskeletal diseases - "C" grade, 11th-place ranking (conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, major limb trauma, and spinal disorders) (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Health/mortality-musculoskeletal-system.aspx);
- mortality due to cancer - "C" grade, 13th-place ranking (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Health/mortality-cancer.aspx); and
- mortality due to diabetes - "C" grade, 15th-place ranking (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Health/mortality-diabetes.aspx).
While Canada has made progress in reducing the mortality rate for these conditions, the overall number of cases is increasing, likely due to the aging of the population and lifestyle factors.
Japan, Switzerland, and Italy earned overall "A" grades in this year's Health report card (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Health.aspx#score). These top-performing countries achieve better outcomes by taking actions to influence and improve the broader determinants of health, such as environmental stewardship. Health promotion programs that focus on changes in lifestyles - including reducing smoking rates, increasing physical activity, and promoting healthier diets and safer driving habits - contribute to overall population health.
How Canada Performs is a multi-year research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to 16 peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society.
The Conference Board of Canada is assessing the sustainability of health care through the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care (CASHC) (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/CASHC/default.aspx). Through CASHC, the Board is providing Canadian business leaders and policy-makers with insights and analysis on what it will take to ensure the future of quality health and health care in this country.
The Conference Board will also release a report on the economic costs of lung disease in March 2012.
For further information:
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448