OTTAWA, Feb.12, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebecers give themselves top grades for their health. Yet, when Quebecers' health is compared to that of other Canadian provinces and advanced countries, Quebec ranks in the middle of the pack, according to The Conference Board of Canada's How Canada Performs: Health report card.
Quebec gets an overall "B" grade and finishes 11th among 29 jurisdictions in the first-ever report card that includes the provinces, territories and 16 peer countries. Quebec places third among the provinces behind British Columbia and Ontario, and just below Canada as a whole.
"In general, Quebecers could do more to keep themselves healthier, and Quebec can significantly reduce the prevalence and economic burden of many chronic diseases by investing in prevention," said Louis Thériault, Vice-President, Public Policy, The Conference Board of Canada.
"Research by the Conference Board has found that Quebec could lower the economic burden of chronic diseases by $7.7 billion between today and 2030 if Quebecers adopt healthier lifestyles."
- Quebec ranks 11th overall and just below Canada as a whole on the health report card.
- Quebec has the lowest premature mortality rate and the lowest mortality rate due to heart disease and stroke in Canada.
- The province has the third highest lung cancer mortality rate among all regions.
Quebec receives an "A+" on self-reported health, a measure of how people feel about their own health, placing higher than all other provinces, as well as all international peers. Quebec also scores an "A" on self-reported mental health, ranking second in Canada, after Newfoundland and Labrador.
Quebec is the highest-ranked province in Canada on two other indicators: mortality due to heart disease and stroke; and premature mortality. The province scores "B" grades on five indicators: life expectancy; mortality due to respiratory diseases; mortality due to diabetes; mortality due to nervous system diseases and suicides.
Quebec scores a "C" on infant mortality. Quebec also gets a "C" grade on mortality due to cancer, largely as a result of deaths from lung cancer - the province has the third highest lung cancer mortality rate among all regions. The smoking rate - while declining - is higher than the Canadian average.
In November 2014, The Conference Board released a report on the health and economic gains to Quebec of healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. Improving Lifestyle Habits: Substantial Benefits for Quebec's Economy and the Health of Its Citizens was supported by La Direction générale de la santé publique du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du gouvernement du Québec.
Between now and 2030, Quebec could lower the cumulative economic burden of chronic diseases by $7.7 billion ($1.8 billion in direct costs and $5.9 billion in indirect costs) if more Quebecers adopted a healthier lifestyle and reduced the prevalence of major risk factors for chronic diseases - including smoking, low fruit and vegetable consumption, physical inactivity, and obesity, as well as the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension - to levels on par with the best Canadian province by 2030.
How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. Six performance domains are assessed: Economy, Education and Skills, Innovation, Environment, Health, and Society.
Released today, and building on previous How Canada Performs analyses, the Health report card is the third of six to be produced on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. The Economy and Education and Skills report cards were published in 2014.
This is the first year that provincial and territorial rankings are included in the report cards. Further details, including information on data sources and the methodology behind the rankings, can be found on the How Canada Performs website.
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