Krueger H, Turner D, Krueger J, Ready AE. Canadian Journal of Public Health 2014;105(1):e69-e78.
Tobacco smoking, excess weight and physical inactivity contribute substantially to the preventable disease burden in Canada.
In this paper, we applied a recently developed approach in addressing the issue of double counting in estimating the combined current economic burden of these risk factors and to estimate the economic benefits of long-term risk factor reduction in Canada.
We used an approach based on population attributable fractions (PAF) to estimate the economic burden associated with the various risk factors. Sex-specific relative risk and age-/sex-specific prevalence data were used in the modelling when available.
Excess weight was modelled as a trichotomous exposure (normal weight, overweight, obese) while tobacco smoking was modelled as a tetrachotomous exposure (non-smoker, light, medium or heavy smoker). All costs are given in constant 2012 Canadian dollars.
The annual economic burden of the risk factors of tobacco smoking, excess weight and physical inactivity in Canada were estimated at $50.3 billion in 2012. Sensitivity analysis suggested a range for the economic burden of $41.6 to $58.7 billion. Of the $50.3 billion, $21.3 ($20.0 to $22.6) billion was attributable to tobacco smoking, $19.0 ($13.8 to $24.0) billion to excess weight and $10.0 ($7.8 to $12.0) billion to physical inactivity. A 1% relative annual reduction in each of the three risk factors would result in an $8.5 billion annual reduction in economic burden by 2031.
A modest annual 1% relative reduction in the risk factors of tobacco smoking, excess weight and physical inactivity can have a substantial health and economic impact over time at the population level.
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