Variation across Canada in the economic burden attributable to excess weight, tobacco smoking and physical inactivity

Hans Krueger, Joshua Krueger, Jacqueline Koot

Abstract


OBJECTIVES: Tobacco smoking, excess weight and physical inactivity contribute substantially to the preventable disease burden in Canada. The purpose of this paper is to determine the potential reduction in economic burden if all provinces achieved prevalence rates of these three risk factors (RFs) equivalent to those of the province with the lowest rates, and to update and address a limitation noted in our previous model.

METHODS: We used a previously developed approach based on population attributable fractions to estimate the economic burden associated with these RFs. Sex-specific relative risk and age-/sex-specific prevalence data were used in the modelling. The previous model was updated using the most current data for developing resource allocation weights.

RESULTS: In 2012, the prevalence of tobacco smoking, excess weight and physical inactivity was the lowest in British Columbia. If age- and sex-specific prevalence rates from BC were applied to populations living in the other provinces, the annual economic burden attributable to these three RFs would be reduced by $5.3 billion. Updating the model resulted in a considerable shift in economic burden from smoking to excess weight, with the estimated annual economic burden attributable to excess weight now 25% higher compared to that of tobacco smoking ($23.3 vs. $18.7 billion).

CONCLUSION: Achieving RF prevalence rates equivalent to those of the province with the lowest rates would result in a 10% reduction in economic burden attributable to excess weight, smoking and physical inactivity in Canada. This study shows that using current resource use data is important for this type of economic modelling.


Keywords


Economic burden of disease; populations at risk; risk factors; obesity; overweight; smoking

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.106.4994