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Canada joins with UN to curb development of chronic illnesses around the world

September 20, 2011

Canada signed on with the United Nations' initiative to take global action to prevent and combat chronic diseases. In Canada alone, chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cardiovascular diseases, affect three out of five adults over the age of 20, and four out five people are at risk for developing these illnesses.

"Chronic diseases are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide," said Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. "Nations must take effective action to reduce their risk factors, which include tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets and the harmful use of alcohol. Everyone has a role to play in the prevention of chronic disease, and Canada is proud to sign today's UN declaration."

The World Health Organization reports that 36 million lives are claimed by chronic diseases every year, and by 2030, 75 percent of deaths around the world will be attributed to these factors. The risk of developing these diseases could be greatly reduced if people made healthier decisions when it comes to tobacco, alcohol, eating and exercise.

People can use international calling cards to place calls to Canada to talk to their friends about the government's decision to get involved, and what they can do to help.

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