Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ottawa: Spend $700 Million to Fight Heart Disease, Save $22 Billion

According to a report commissioned by the government of Canada, $700 million dollars should be spent by Ottawa over the next seven years to combat the leading cause of death in our country: heart disease. The plan is get people to eat healthier, exercise more and quit smoking in order to decrease the risk of developing heart disease.

But here's the thing - don't we hear this advice all the time? How are they actually going to accomplish all of this? Their answer: "education, legislation and regulation" similar to what's been done in the past with smoking. Similar plans exist for cancer, diabetes, and lung disease, but up until this point there has been no real plan to deal with heart disease and stroke in Canadians. It is estimated that if this plan goes forward, the incidence of heart disease and stroke in Canada could decrease by as much as 25% by 2020 and $22 billion could be saved in health care costs and lost productivity as a result of illness.

According to Sally Brown, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada "We now know that up to 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke are preventable,". And that's not all...according to the group, nine out of every ten Canadians over the age of 20 have at least one risk factor going against them! That's a scary thought.

So what does this all mean for you? If you haven't already at least attempted to adopt a healthier lifestyle, you might want to start because chances are you'll be hearing an awful lot more about all of this in the coming years!