These costs can be reduced
- through health promotion and chronic disease prevention initiatives.
Cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic
obstructive lung disease and diabetes (all chronic diseases) make up the
vast majority of deaths and disability in the country. Chronic disease
is more prevalent in Eastern Canada, and as a nation we are in the throes
of an epidemic of these diseases.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading
cause of death in Nova Scotia and in Canada.
Each year cardiovascular disease costs
the Canadian economy $7.3 billion in direct costs (medical care, hospitalization,
drugs, research) and $12.4 billion in indirect costs (lost wages, decreased
In 1991, smoking-related health care costs
were $2.5 billion (Can). Additional smoking-attributable costs included
$1.5 billion for residential care, $2 billion due to worker absenteeism,
$80 million due to fires and $10.5 billion due to lost future income caused
by pre-mature death.