Canadian men's poor health costs $36.9B a year: study
Sonja Puzic, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, June 15, 2015 2:17PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 15, 2015 11:35PM EDT
Men who are out of shape, overweight, drink too much and smoke are costing Canada $36.9 billion a year, according to a new study.
The study, commissioned by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, calculated the financial impact of the leading causes of chronic disease among Canadian men: excess weight, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking.
The breakdown of the annual economic burden is:
- Smoking: $13 billion
- Excess weight: $11.9 billion
- Alcohol consumption: $7.6 billion
- Physical inactivity: $4.4 billion
Those four costly risk factors contribute to approximately 40 different chronic conditions, including lung disease, several types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation.
The study also breaks down the economic burden into direct health care costs ($11.9 billion) and indirect costs, such as premature deaths as well as short-and long-term disability ($25.1 billion).
“The cost of men’s poor health is a huge problem that more and more people are talking about,” CMHF founder, Dr. Larry Goldenberg, said in a news release.
“While the economic costs are high, the effects on men’s families and communities are even higher,” he said. “Widows account for 45 per cent of all women aged 65 and over. We men need to start making changes to take better care of ourselves, not just for us, but also for the people who count on us and for our communities.”
That’s why CMHF has launched its second annual Canadian Men’s Health Week, an awareness campaign that encourages men to get healthier.
If Canadian men get active, lose weight, quit smoking and cut back on booze, up to 70 per cent of the staggering health care costs could be avoided, the CMHF says.
According to the foundation, more than half of all Canadian men were overweight in 2013. More than 40 per cent were inactive, nearly 20 per cent smoked tobacco and 12.4 per cent consumed alcohol “at levels that are considered to be hazardous of harmful.”
The prevalence of the risk factors and the cost of related diseases vary by province, the study found. For example, the percentage of men who smoke ranges from 13.6 in British Columbia to 26.2 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The proportion of men who drink too much ranges from 8.6 per cent in P.E.I. to 14.8 in Quebec.
And the annual financial burden of all four risk factors ranges from $182 million in P.E.I. to $13.8 billion in Ontario.