Canada Signs UN Declaration on Preventing and Controlling Chronic Diseases
September 19, 2011
NEW YORK, USA, Sep 19, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Canada today endorsed a United Nations (UN) declaration as part of a global commitment to galvanize action against the growing threat of chronic diseases to world health and to national economies.
The UN High-level meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (also called chronic diseases) was convened to elevate the impacts of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory diseases onto the world stage.
"Chronic diseases are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide," said Canada's Health Minister, Leona Aglukkaq. "Nations must take effective action to reduce their risk factors, which include tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets and the harmful use of alcohol."
World Health Organization statistics say that chronic diseases currently kill 36 million people per year, 80% of which live in developing countries. By 2030, chronic diseases are expected to contribute to 75% of global deaths.
This number could be greatly reduced if people made healthier choices about tobacco use, what they eat, physical activity and use of alcohol. Eighty per cent of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, as well as 40% of cancers, are believed to be preventable.
"Chronic diseases are taking a toll on the health and wellbeing of Canadians, just like they do across the globe" added Minister Aglukkaq. "Everyone has a role to play in the prevention of chronic disease, and Canada is proud to sign today's UN declaration."
In Canada, three out of five Canadians older than 20 years of age have a chronic disease and four out of five people are at risk. The Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories, the private sector, the research community, and civil society organizations to combat chronic disease.
The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Declaration on Prevention and Promotion endorsed by Canada's Health Ministers last fall makes prevention a priority and symbolizes the commitment to collaboration that is a cornerstone of Canada's approach to chronic disease prevention and control.
The Minister added that the government's continuing commitment to the improved health of Canadians is an investment in our country's economic growth.
In total, chronic diseases cost the Canadian economy at least $190 billion a year. Better health means improved productivity and workplace effectiveness.
Egalement offert en francais
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA CHRONIC DISEASE INITIATIVES
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