The Economic Impact of Lung Disease in Canada

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Lung disease has a deep impact in Canada. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of death from cancer for both genders and each year more people die of lung cancer than those of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer combined.

MORE: Four stages of COPD.

According to the Canadian Lung Association, the three leading lung diseases — asthma, COPD, and lung cancer — cost the Canadian economy a staggering $12 billion in 2010. More than 6 percent of Canada’s welfare bill is taken up by chronic lung disease care.

When it comes to hospitalizations, those with COPD outnumber all other patients. It’s estimated that a large number of Canadians have COPD or asthma but have not yet been diagnosed. Experts predict that the bill for caring for patients with chronic lung disease in Canada will have doubled by 2030 if drastic steps aren’t taken to help improve Canadians’ lung health.

Measures have been put in place to reduce smoking and secondhand smoke, as well as improve both indoor and outdoor air quality. These steps will hopefully help prevent additional cases of COPD, asthma and lung cancer and reduce the economic burden of these and other chronic lung diseases.

MORE: Eight of the most common lung diseases in women. 

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