Statement from the Minister of Health on the release of new national surveillance data on dementia, including Alzheimer's disease

OTTAWA, June 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Today's release of new national surveillance information on dementia and Alzheimer's disease from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (CCDSS) provides us with deeper insight into a public health issue that affects so many Canadians, including those who are diagnosed with it, their families, friends and caregivers.

The new data tell us that currently more than 402,000 Canadian seniors are living with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, and that about 76,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. In addition, these diseases affect more women than men: two-thirds of Canadians affected are women.

The CCDSS is the only national data source currently able to estimate the incidence of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. For the first time, we can see the magnitude of this health issue by age group and location in the country, as well as the impact over time. This new information will support our Government's work to advance the policies, research and programs in this area.

For example, we support Bill C-233, An Act respecting a national strategy for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and look forward to the passing of this Bill in Parliament. Our Government will work closely with our provincial and territorial counterparts to develop this national strategy.

Enacting Bill C-233 will complement wide-ranging initiatives already in place that help seniors live healthy, active and independent lives. These initiatives include engaging Canadians through Dementia Friends Canada, a national campaign to help Canadians learn about dementia, what it means to live with it, and how we can take action to help people whose lives are touched by it.

We are investing funds in several initiatives to support aging in place and addressing the challenge of dementia, including:

  • $6 billion over 10 years through the new Health Accord to improve home and palliative care.
  • $193 million in dementia-related research committed over the past five years through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
  • $42 million investment over five years to Baycrest Health Sciences to help establish the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation to foster the development, testing and scale-up of products and services to support brain health and aging, with a focus on dementia.

We are also advancing support for seniors with age-friendly communities and fall prevention initiatives.

The new surveillance data is the result of several years of work between the Public Health Agency of Canada, our provincial and territorial partners, the academic community and other organizations across Canada who contributed to develop this valuable resource. Learning more about the prevalence and impacts of dementia and Alzheimer's disease will continue to equip us to improve the lives of those living with it, their families, and their caregivers.

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health


SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, (613) 957-2983

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