Preventable deaths drop by half in Canada

May 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM
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OTTAWA, May 24 (UPI) -- The rate of preventable deaths in Canada dropped by half -- from 373 per 100,000 Canadians in 1979 to 185 per 100,000 Canadians in 2008 -- officials say.

The most recent edition of Health Indicators 2012, an annual report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information and Statistics Canada, said the rate of deaths that could be avoided by preventing disease from developing or an injury from occurring decreased by 47 percent over a 30-year period.

"When we look into pan-Canadian results for avoidable deaths, we can determine the respective impact of prevention efforts and of health care improvements," Jeremy Veillard of the Canadian Institute for Health Information said in a statement.

The drop in preventable death from 1979 to 2008 was mainly due to reductions in deaths due to disease, which decreased by 72 percent.

"Declines in some areas of avoidable mortality, such as circulatory diseases, demonstrate that great results can be achieved through collaboration across the healthcare system and other sectors," Veillard said. "But, there is still work to be done."

Rates of preventable deaths varied significantly by socioeconomic group. For example, people living in the least affluent neighborhoods were twice as likely to die from preventable causes as those in the most affluent neighborhoods, the report said.

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