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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Chronic disease survey in Canada: Diabetes and COPD Fast facts

PHAC’s relative silence is sometimes deafening, so when good work comes forward it is well worth celebrating.  Not only that, the good news was Tweeted out and put up on the PHAC front page.  No formal media release though, but it is progress.

The good news relates to short reports stemming from a 2011 survey on living with Chronic Diseases in Canada.   The two summary documents focus on Diabetes and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).   Diabetes Fast Facts  COPD Fast Facts.   The Statistics Canada methodology can be found at Stats Can survey information  and references a third component on Asthma which does not appear to have been released as of this date.

Participants in the survey were found through the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey as positive respondents to questions on the three chronic illnesses.  The most reassuring thematic coming forward from the survey are:

78% of COPDers and 82% of diabetics have a family doctor who coordinates their care – Bonus!!!
79% of COPDers and 50% of diabetics had seen at least one other health care provider in the previous year
Over 75% of diabetics reported positive responses on what would be considered good clinical care – Hgb A1c, cholesterol levels,  BP measurements
Conversely, only 22% of COPDers have seen a respiratory educator;  20% had visited the ER  and 8% were hospitalized within the previous year
Both groups demonstrate the challenge in adopting healthier behaviours despite significant underlying health conditions:  36% of COPDers still smoke.  77% of diabetics being overweight or obeses.  

There are many more gems to be found in these reasonably well written, 4 page fast facts.  

As a bonus, concurrently Health Evidence has released a summarization of the effectiveness of population interventions to prevent diabetes.  Population interventions for diabetes prevention.  Not surprising in a developing science that there is poor evidence of effective interventions at this time.   

Well done PHAC.  

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